A visit to Great Dixter in late summer


Since my love for gardening has taken hold, there are certain gardens that I’ve wanted to visit for ages. These are gardens that you see featured all the time in magazines and books, and the photos always look spectacular. Great Dixter was the home of garden designer Christopher Lloyd, and it’s characterised by a bold use of colour and really dense planting. It’s been on my ‘must visit’ list for a long time, and despite being without my ‘big’ camera as it was being repaired (all photos in this post are from my phone!), I really wanted to see Great Dixter in late summer, before autumn set in and things started to go to seed.


Pathway in Sunken Garden Great Dixter


I was stunned by the density of the planting – grasses spilling across paths, colourful flowers at every glance. It seemed that everywhere you looked there was something beautiful to look at, and it was overwhelming at times. This isn’t a peaceful garden by any means, it’s a riot of colour – purples and organges, pinks and yellows. There are so many paths leading in different directions, it felt like we were completely lost at times, and then we’d suddenly come upon a scene we knew we’d seen before.

There are so many little gardens to explore, all set around the house (we skipped the house, as Max has no patience for these things, just the gardens!). We started in the sunken garden, set around a gorgeous pond which was filled with water lillies at the end of August.


Pond in Great Dixter Sunken Garden

Max walking down Sunken Garden pathway - Great Dixter

View of Oast houses from the Sunken Garden


We then moved into the Peacock Garden, with it’s topiary birds, the High Garden, and then the Orchard Garden, all edged and divided by yew hedges.


Max pointing the way through the yew hedges

Max walking through the Peacock Garden - topiary in distance


As we emerged from the High Garden into the Prairie and the Vegetable Garden, Max was treated to the site of a lawnmower (no surprise – he’d been navigating towards the sound the whole time, shouting ‘mower!’). Apparently this was the highlight of the visit for Max, and we had to stand there and watch the mowing for quite a while.


Man mowing the grass


The highlight of our visit for me was the Long Border – designed to reach it’s peak from mid-July through to mid-August, but still looking pretty spectacular in late August in our visit. I love the use of orange – I tend to shy away from oranges and yellows, sticking more to the pinks, purples, and blues which go so well together, but I was struck here at how uplifting just a pop of orange can be. I loved the fairly informal way that the plants work together – the planting is so dense that they appear to be woven together at times. It was a treat for Max too, as they’d set up the hose sprinkler system – it was a hot day and he spent ages running through the water jets! He got himself thoroughly soaked and very happy.


Orange flowers, greens, purples with blue skies

Yellows, reds and greens

Hot pink border with grasses in front

Max running through water sprinklers in the Long Border


The Exotic Garden was a surprise – in among the vast leaves of the expected ‘jungle’ type plants were planted roses and other ‘cottage garden’ types. This bit was a huge hit with Max too, who loved pushing his way through the foliage to explore – doesn’t he look like an intrepid explorer?


Max pushing his way through the leaves


Great Dixter didn’t disappoint at all and is a garden I hope I can come back to, to see what it looks like in different seasons. I hope that I can take a little inspiration from Christopher Lloyd, and be a bit bolder with my use of colour – oranges and yellows here I come!



Open 25th March to 30th October 2016
Tuesday to Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays (Closed on all other Mondays)

Gardens 11am to 5pm (last admission)

Website: http://www.greatdixter.co.uk/ (see website for updated opened times and ticket prices)

Ticket prices (correct at time of visit): Adult (House & Gardens), £11.55, Child (House & Gardens) £1.65; Adult (Gardens Only) £9.35, Child (Gardens Only) £1.10


Monkey and Mouse


Two Tiny Hands


Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
  • Elsie Pop
    September 13, 2016

    Lovely pics! Your phone is better than you give it credit for! 🙂 Love the sprinklers – I could do with running through a few of those on my way home today! xx

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      September 14, 2016

      Thanks – they’re not too bad, are they? Good old Nexus! It’s definitely the weather for sprinklers – not many on route on the commute back from London though I bet!

  • Oana Popescu
    September 14, 2016

    Lovely pictures. I’m not much into gardening, but I try and teach my son the importance of plants around us and about their beauty. #FamilyFun

  • Baby Isabella
    September 14, 2016

    Woweeee! What a beautiful place! Great Dixter is such a hidden gem. We’d love to have a property like that! #whatevertheweather xx

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      September 14, 2016

      It’s stunning isn’t it? Kind of figured that even if the photos weren’t quite up to scratch that it was worth sharing them anyway, as they’re just so pretty and it was such a lovely visit!

  • Island Living 365
    September 14, 2016

    What a stunning place to visit! Those gardens are amazing, and I agree a pop of orange can be so uplifting #FamilyFun

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      September 14, 2016

      I’ve always shied away from orange before but I loved it here! I’m going to try out a bit of it against the purples I already have, I think it’ll be great!

  • Tammymum
    September 14, 2016

    Wow they are some really pretty gardens. I’m not overly green gingered myself but I can appreciate beautiful flowers and scenery. I bet the little man loved being able to run through the sprinklers too, I used to love doing that as a kid. Thanks again for joining us at #familyfun. Hope to see you again next week xx

    • Katy | Hot Pink Wellingtons
      September 14, 2016

      He totally loved it – he was absolutely drenched! Although it was so hot he dried off nice and quickly afterwards. Both me and my husband were ‘forced’ to run through too – it was lovely!

  • Laura @dearbearandbeany
    September 14, 2016

    What beautiful gardens. Seeing this makes me think of my nana garden (but on a larger scale). Her garden was a place to explore and full of colour just like this. I love that you had to stand and watch the grass being cut!!!! x

  • Mainy - @myrealfairy
    September 15, 2016

    Brilliant photos here and I love the one of little max popping out through the bushes:) Great way of seeing scenery I wouldn’t normally be able to get to, thanks:)



  • Sarah Stockley
    September 15, 2016

    Oh wow! It’s so pretty, we went to Sheffield Park a couple of months ago and we’ve also been to Hole Park but this looks lovely. Sarah #SharingTheBlogLove

  • Karen Belton
    September 16, 2016

    Beautiful gardens. I love your photos and especially your little explorer!! Thanks for linking up to #familyfun

  • Angela Watling
    September 18, 2016

    They look stunning. I really want to go! Unfortunately we live a bit too far away but if we ever head in the vicinity… Like you, I have tended to avoid oranges and reds, until this year. I picked a few bolder colours and have been so happy with them in my garden. I have an orange gazania which has been my plant of the summer. Sounds like you’ve got lots of inspiration for next year’s garden! #KCACOLS

  • rainbowsR2beautiful
    September 18, 2016

    I’m always a bit worried taking my lot to a garden as I’ve got some savage flower pickers! This looks great though! Rainbowsaretoobeautiful on #KCACOLS

  • Jenny Eaves
    September 20, 2016

    Oh Max is just adorable there! I love his cheeky face peeking out of the bushes and his smile running through the sprinklers is the best. Such a beautiful garden! Thanks for linking up to #Whatevertheweather 🙂 x

  • Suburban Mum
    September 21, 2016

    The gardens look so beautiful – you managed to get some great shots on your phone! I love the one of Max exploring.

    Thank you for linking up to #KCACOLS and I hope to see you back again on 1st Oct when the linky opens again x

  • Winnettes
    September 22, 2016

    This garden looks amazing. Max has such a cheeky grin in that last photo. I wish I could grow at least some of these plants in my garden but I’d likely only kill them.

  • Kayleigh Woodland
    September 22, 2016

    Wow what an absolutely beautiful place and so many wonderful flowers! #kcacols

  • Emma Easton
    September 22, 2016

    Oh so beautiful! And it looks like Max is having a great time! x #KCACOLS

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