In early May this year the time had finally arrived, I was working close to the garden and had a few hours to spare, the sun was shining, so what better things are there to do than visiting a beautiful garden.
poppy Papaver dubium ssp. lecoqii var. albiflorum (a rather long name for such a small plant) which I have not seen anywhere else so far. The emerging flowers of giant fennel (Ferula communis), a huge umbellifer from the Mediterranean, were an impressive sight and its feathery leaves provided a beautiful backdrop for many of the other plants.
|Smyrnium perfoliatum and red tulips|
|Euphorbia palustris, a spectacular plant|
|The small pink poppy with Smyrnium perfoliatum|
The large areas of wildflower meadows in different parts of the garden were beautiful and just starting to come into flower with wild orchids, buttercups and blue Camassia. I could see a lot of yellow rattle in the meadows which must have helped to weaken the grass. As the vegetation was generally on the short side I assume the fertility of the underlying soil must be quite low as well.
I was impressed by the diversity of plants in the meadows and would have liked to do a vegetation survey to see how many species per m2 I could come up with. But I was there to enjoy myself, not to work :-).
|Green-winged orchids in the meadows|
|Beautiful wildflower meadows|
|Camassia is naturalised in some of the meadows, I am trying something similar on the allotment now|
It was also interesting to see that some plants which others would regard as weeds were left to naturalise in some places such as cow parsley, but which worked really well as a light and airy backdrop for more showy plants (see picture below).
|Alliums, poppies and forget-me-not with a background of cow parsley|
I would be nice to be able to see Great Dixter at different times of the year as I am sure that every few weeks it will look different. The tropical garden was still in its winter sleep in early May and many of the later perennials were just starting to grow.
Below you can see some more pictures of the garden.
|The Sunk Garden, there were actually newts in the pond in the middle of the garden|
|The pretty pink poppy again, here with the umbellifer Orlaya grandiflora|
|Alliums, tulips and columbine|
|Poppies, alliums and cow parsley|
|I am normally not a fan of topiary but here at Great Dixter it fit perfectly, containing the wilder plantings in the middle|
|Giant fennel (Ferula communis), one of the signature plants at Great Dixter|
|Allium 'Purple Rain', white honesty, giant fennel and columbine|
|The Peacock Garden with sweet cicely, Euphorbia and meadow rue|
|The High Garden with alliums, giant fennel, honesty and many perennials and grasses|
|Phyllostachys nigra, a very showy bamboo|
|Columbine and honesty, a pretty picture in pink|