House & Garden Fund

House Tour

The hard landscaping and green bones of Great Dixter require continuous repair and maintenance. The steps and paths are laid in York stone and the steps have Kent brick and tile underpinnings. The enclosure and plantings of the Barn Garden are anchored in walls and paving which need frequent attention. Great Dixter is a high intensity flower garden requiring a large amount of work from skilled staff. The clipped yew hedges require 45 days of cutting each year. Dixter’s flower meadows need careful supervision and strewing is used to enrich adjoining pasture land. In the kitchen garden new varieties of seed are tried out alongside traditional varieties of fruit and vegetables. Tree audits are undertaken, tree surgeons brought in, and gaps filled.

In 2015 donations to the garden contributed towards plantings of yew at the entrance, on the topiary lawn and by the circular steps. There were experimental trials of plants new to Dixter and additional cold frames were made for the nursery and Dixter farm. The cutting of the meadows was made easier by the purchase of a second hand power scythe and tedder to turn the hay. Paving was repaired under the thatched area between the two barns and in the High Garden. Espalier pears were grown on to be lifted and put in place when old ones die. A new workshop was established at Dixter farm and habitat piles created in one of the lower fields.

The old timber and plaster walls of the house, its oak floors and peg tile roofs require constant monitoring, as do its historic contents. Last year donations supported projects to repair the Hepplewhite sofa in the Yeomans Hall and to re-seat the cane and rush chairs. The leopard skin, dating from Patrick Lloyd’s time in India as a soldier in the 1920s, has also been conserved. More curtains have been relined and repaired.

In 2016 house and garden projects that need support include:

  • Re-thatching of the link between the two barns, £15,000
  • A teaching glasshouse, £12,000
  • Support for a gardener’s wages, £20,000
  • Restoration of Christopher Lloyd’s cold frames, £4,000
  • Repairs to the Exotic Garden hovel, £4,000
  • Repairs to brickwork in the Solar fireplace, £500
  • Conservation of Lloyd portraits, £1,500 each
  • Work on the Dixter clocks, £1,500 each

To donate to the House & Garden Fund, please click the button below:

Donate button

For further information, please contact Linda Jones:

Tel: +44 (0) 1797 254048

Exotic Garden in late September