|Avert your eyes from the boards|
And where did you find this, you may ask? Well, today I was privileged enough to pay a visit to Great Dixter, which is one of the most wonderful gardens I have ever seen, surrounding a mellow old timbered house, that has the qualities of somewhere out of a tale of history and mystery.
|A few pots by the door|
Not only did I find inspiration in the magnificent creativity of the planting and the surprising and magical juxtapositions to be found in the series of yew-enclosed gardens, but I was also lucky enough to spend some time sitting on the sofa in the soft, ochre light of a cavernous drawing room listening to Fergus Garrett, the head gardener, explain his vision for Great Dixter, and his philosophy of gardening.
In spite of his busy schedule Fergus was charming and welcoming, and interested in permaculture to boot, which must be a good thing, and in a short time I learned a lot from him about establishing and managing a meadow, too. The meadows at Great Dixter are a sight to behold, even this late in the season, the long borders are breathtaking, and the compost heaps quite magnificent.
I was given Christopher Lloyd's book, Gardener Cook, some years ago: it is a lovely book which led us through our earliest days of growing our own food, a combination of commonsense gardening advice and simple, delicious recipes for dishes made with the produce of your garden - and my outing today has inspired me to read it again and try out some more of those recipes.
|Patchwork of pink and yellow: you could do this at home|
And looking at the wonderful combinations of colours and flowers and foliage in Fergus Garrett's plantings has inspired me to be even more adventurous in my own little patch, and given me confidence in what I have done already. Not to mention the fact that yellow rattle is what I need to primp my meadow to perfection.
So if you were considering a day out, one at Great Dixter is well worth the journey - you will be sure to find pleasure, and inspiration, as well as ideas achievable in the smallest of plots and on the smallest of scales.
|A front door to aspire to|