Great Dixter’s garden in Christopher Lloyd’s words.
You can walk through the ‘hovel’, an old cow shed, on to the site of a one-time cattle yard (with their drinking tank in the centre), where Lutyens designed a formal rose garden. Thanks to replant disease, newly planted rose replacements ceased to thrive here, so on Fergus’s arrival at Dixter, we made a grand alteration, got rid of the roses and created a late summer to autumn garden for tropical effect, though many of the best foliage plants are quite hardy. This has been a lot of fun. For colour, we are mainly using dahlias and cannas. There is a haze of purple from self-sowing Verbena bonariensis. A white, August–September flowering shrub, Escallonia bifida, is usually besieged by butterflies. The banana, Musa basjoo, is a hardy Japanese species.