form + texture centre stage at Great Dixter

November 23, 2013

cynara3

The Great Dixter Christmas Fair is held this weekend. After a wander around the stalls set up in the house, a chance to wander around the garden for the last time this year – for most of us anyway. In the Barn Garden, the fig, now bare, stretched out to take as much of the winter sun as possible is a thing of great beauty . . .

fig 1

fig 2 barn garden

. . I find the piles of compost and mulches and the stacks of felled timber equally beautiful in a functional sense.

compost

wood

The clipped buxus by the front of the house have a melodious form. Fergus has tackled a hebe in a similar manner; I’m not sure about this aesthetically or is the formal European treatment of a New Zealander that disconcerts me?  Interesting though. Looking through the archive, I find a post from last November (written a couple of weeks earlier in the month) where a shot of the oast and the border in the Blue Garden is almost identical . . .

front

blue garden

hovel

. . . Dixter is a strange mix of the vernacular and the strength of form and texture in the planting – some contemporary. Very close to the hovel (above) in the Exotic Garden is a great explosion of foliage and vertical, soft and furry buds on a tetrapanax. No sign of the new dogs today, but Titch was around craving attention and receiving much affection. . .

tetrapanax

titch

towards cat garden

. .  across the Cat Garden, behind the Long Border, seedheads are slowly turning to biscuit tones . . .

teazels

long border

. .   but the Long Border itself still has spots of colourful fruits and lingering flowerheads – delicate in composition. And opposite, the mulberry too shows delicacy in its form and texture.

morus

As does this grouping in the corner of the Vegetable Garden looking across the Orchard . . .

from veg garden to orchard

. . .  by the Horse Pond, great stands of gunnera slowly collapsing after their performance. Applause and much appreciation.

gunnera 1

horse pond 2

What’s green is going, taking

with it the last hiding-places

of the light, its spills

and splashes.

The trunk of the one wild cherry

ink black, like the swan’s neck,

its leaves sharp scarlet beaks.

The land’s flayed bare by its reckonings

with the century –

torn off a strip,

like the sod that Private Harry Farr

stops under.

The moon pins its white square

of flannel over the heart.

Dawn drips its slate-light

across the field,

scratches another name

on its sum of wonders.  Alison Fell    November (6)    Lightyear

(Harry Farr was a young Yorkshire soldier shot in Flanders for so-called desertion)

5 Responses to “form + texture centre stage at Great Dixter”

  1. Sinclair 3168 Says:

    How sad about Harry Farr… Beautiful photos, melancholic now. Titch looks prickly!

  2. Tom Says:

    always beautiful images from this place. Thank you

  3. Nanda Says:

    Julia!
    You were the 100th person to like Cenicitas page! Thanks for that! :)
    Awesome pics, as always!

  4. julia fogg Says:

    Glad to be the thousandth – your poems are a welcome stat to the day up here in the north.


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