With their riot of summer colour, the famous mixed borders at Dixter will inspire you! Lovingly cultivated over 50 years by the late Christopher Lloyd, garden writer and plantsman, Great Dixter remains one of the most important gardens of its kind still in private hands today.

The gardens lie all around what appears to be a substantial manor house dating from the Middle Ages but is, in fact, three houses: the original dates from the 15th century, added to that is a Kentish Yeoman’s house which was carefully dismantled in Benenden and then added to Dixter and, finally, additional accommodation which was completed in 1912. The whole project was overseen by Christopher Lloyd’s father, Nathaniel Lloyd, who employed the services of the architect Edwin Lutyens. Through his association with the famous garden designer, Gertrude Jekyll, Lutyens was famous for ‘marrying’ house and garden design together, the garden design reflecting the materials and lines of the house.

Lutyens skillfully incorporated the existing farm buildings into his design for the gardens at Dixter and these, together with dramatic yew topiary in certain areas, help to give the garden it’s basic structure and different senses of atmosphere. Christopher Lloyd ‘s garden as we see it today is, by his own admission, high maintenance but with that comes enormous satisfaction and delight for those who work there and for the visitor. The borders are a mix of shrubs, climbers and perennials with annuals and biennials interspersed wherever it works! There are no colour schemes as such and the (often startling) juxtaposition of plants and colour – whether by self-seeding or by the gardener’s intent – result in a wonderfully informal and uncontrived look.

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