You know that feeling you get when you go back home (or any special place for that matter) for the first time after a couple years?... Well, I recently experienced that when I returned to Great Dixter for the first time since my year there in 2013-14.
I was able to return the first weekend in April for the spring plant fair. The plant fair is a really fun event to be part of. There are so many great nurseries present and fun people to talk to and of course plants to peruse. It's a wonderful garden festival, and when the weather is nice, as it was this year, even better!
Returning to Dixter really is like going home- It's one big family. When you're there you become part of the team again and get right to work wherever needed. In this case I helped set up for the fair on Friday, the day before it started. Then Saturday and Sunday I helped mostly with car parking, a seemingly irrelevant and boring job, but actually one of the most important jobs of the event. While you would think people could figure it out themselves, it's not so straightforward and requires a multi-person chain from the entrance to the bottom field to maintain order in what would otherwise turn into a manic free-for-all. All this to say, no job at Dixter is unimportant. Afterall, you can always find Fergus right in the thick of the parking from year to year- that should tell you something.
Setting up the evening before
Great Dixter's stall at the fair
It was a very quick "long weekend". Although I arrived Thursday and left Monday, it was such a full schedule that it felt much shorter. It was so special to return to one of the most influential places in my life. Not only is it a great garden with great plants, but it's the people and the energetic atmosphere that also make it an incredible place.
Some of the people that make Dixter GREAT
Of course I took a couple laps around the garden. While the garden was a few weeks further along than us in Sweden, it still wasn't as far along as I might of thought. There weren't too many Tulips blooming yet, but the Daffodils were in full swing. Also Fritillaria, Magnolia, and Euphorbia were blooming. Overall everything was still looking quite good with perfect spring weather to take it all in!
Euphorbia characias and Tulipa 'Combat' in the top stock bed
Maybe most exciting, look at the giant fennels!
Myosotis and Corylopsis flower by Lutyen's Steps
A road much traveled
Until next time... more great memories!