Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Autumn Plant Fair

Very occasionally it happens that a place much treasured as an idea lives up to all its promise and imagined lustre.
Great Dixter house and garden performs that miracle for me on every visit. 

It is all I want from an English house and garden. Ideas that began with the imaginary worlds I spent time in as a child, formed first in the minds of Beatrix Potter, Frances Hodgson-Burnett and Noel Streatfield, KM Peyton and Edith Nesbitt.

The wonderful Lutyens architecture ~ those oak drainpipes lined with lead! the myriad outbuildings ~ wobbly roofed and groaning with the patina and stories of past inhabitants. The garden ~ rooms and meadows~ fruit trees left to their own designs, curtsy holding out their skirts so laden with berries and fruit. Borders bursting with colour and confidence, there are wonderful patterns everywhere you turn. And yet, it feels "real" and grounded not primped and preened. I cite the enormous compost heap, as tall as a Hardy hay rick and sliced through to reveal the section, layers and layers of good dark crumbly matter, with a long ladder leaning against it, wonderful to see.

Yes! I am a fan and admirer of the late great Christopher Lloyd and his former assistant, now Head Gardener, Fergus Garrett. This past weekend at Great Dixter saw the Autumn Plant Fair roll in to the meadow below the nursery. Growers and nurserymen from all over Europe along with some closer to home displaying their specimens on simple stands constructed from wood and hessian with corrugated roofs. So, on a fuzzy, drowsy, misty October Saturday we arrived...
 The boot was a cascade of petals and leaves, supported by sacks of spring bulbs as ballast as I bounced down the track ~Laneward bound...



  1. What a beautiful garden setting. I am helping my daughter take a neglected space and turn it into a welcoming retreat. Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. You have no idea how happy you make me xxx

  3. Just beautiful.....thanks for sharing....x

  4. Your pictures are spectacular. Have you a super duper camera.? Thank you for sharing your pictures. I too like Sarah Ravens garden.

    1. Hi Sarah! Thank you .
      I have an Olympus SZ-30MR that I snap away on, it has great magnification and is much lighter than a DSLR (although I am partial!). Sometimes the light levels aren't great so I edit all that stuff when I get home. You're right Perch Hill is another treasure...
      Sarah --x--

  5. i'm so glad you visited the autumn Plant sale and shared it with us too. I noticed it advertised a few weeks ago and would have loved to have gone. Your post is a good substitute, it looks wonderful and I also wouldn't have come home empty handed!
    Sarah x.

  6. I loved KM Peyton books! The Flambards series!

  7. How very fabulous, I would have loved to be there. Thanks for taking me with your photos.

  8. Suzanne of Simply Suzannes at Home

    Loved travelling with your photos. Beautiful!
    Happy Fall,

  9. Beautiful photos as ever, so much pretty floral goodness for the eyes to drink in.
    Love the circular step feature thing (very technical term!) with the pretty little flowers planted around it.
    Lisa x

  10. Your photography always conveys the essence of wherever you visit Sarah, I look forward to seeing your posts. What a wonderful day out in a wonderful place. Putting a date in my diary for next year.

  11. Beautiful, I really need to make the effort and visit one day!

  12. Sarah-Jane, you have a lovely blog. I would love it if you would add a gadget that allows us to follow you by email. That way I would never miss a post. <3

  13. Thank you for taking me to Great Dixter! Just lovely and your photographs of English country life are so beautiful! I look forward to your next post. Xo Jennifer

  14. Oh, how wonderful! I have never visited Great Dixter and would so love to. Thank you for taking us along with you :)

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