Unfortunately because of all the postponements of 2020 we are unable to offer a 2021 course. If you are already on the mailing list you will be contacted about 2022 dates when they are released. Please email Catherine: [email protected] for more information or to be added to the waiting list. 

Great Dixter is a renowned and innovative garden that depends on a high degree of craftsmanship to maintain and develop its year round display. This is an advanced course, exploring and teaching the skills necessary for establishing, developing and managing a garden in this style.

Teaching takes place monthly through the year from January to December, focusing on specific seasonal tasks and on understanding what’s happening in the garden at that time. The teaching is delivered through seminars, demonstrations and critical appraisal of the garden. There will be opportunities for discussion and to ask questions.

The course is suitable for students with some gardening experience whether as a keen amateur gardener or garden professional.While the course covers the fundamentals, the aim is to extend students’ plant knowledge, enhance their technical abilities and give them confidence to experiment and explore their own gardening practice.

Crocosmia lucifer in the Peacock garden

Course topics

The course will include the following topics, each taught and explored in the style of Great Dixter:

  • History, philosophy and design of Great Dixter
  • Soil preparation and planting
  • Propagation by seed, cuttings and division
  • Supporting, staking, and tying-in plants
  • Planting for succession, and border management
  • Pruning in winter and summer
  • Shade gardening
  • Pot displays
  • Meadow gardening
  • Exotic garden
  • Bedding displays
  • Bulbs: using and planting
  • Tender plants, growing and protecting
  • Self-sowers
  • Composts and growing media
  • Cut flowers and vegetables
  • Hedges and topiary
  • Developing borders


Tutors for the course are Edward Flint and Fergus Garrett.