It’s not too late to go on the annual coach trip this coming weekend, click here to download the booking form and get in touch with Maggie Lacey immediately using her details on the form. Full information on the trip is below.
Coach Trip – Merriments and Great Dixter
Saturday, 18th June 2016
Coach departure time: 8.15am, from Westminster Lodge, AL1 2DJ
The acclaimed Merriments gardens were laid out on yellow clay in the early 1980s, covering four acres. They are made up of several different areas, including the Wild Area, the colour-themed Golden Border, the Ponds & Tropical border, which were constructed only recently, and the Formal Garden. Also of interest are the Blue Gravel Garden (agapanthus, delphiniums and grasses) and the Hot Border.
The adjoining nursery has an excellent selection of plants for sale, some of which can be seen growing in the garden; their stock-list includes a number of unusual plants which should kindle a lot of interest.
There is a restaurant at Merriments selling hot meals, sandwiches and baguettes, as well as a wide selection of drinks and even desserts. There are two or three gluten-free and/or vegetarian options available, including filled jacket potatoes.
The home and garden of the late Christopher Lloyd at Great Dixter really need no introduction. Most of the garden design was originally by Lutyens, consisting mainly of mixed borders with no specific colour schemes, in contrast to Merriments. Areas include a damp ‘Cat Garden’ (the planting includes caltha, geraniums & lilacs), the Barn Garden, the Topiary Lawn and the famous Long Border with its succession planting. Possibly the most famous part of Great Dixter is the Exotic Garden, where Christo notoriously dug up the old formal rose beds, replacing them with a riot of exotic planting (but I noticed on my last visit there were still a few ‘Mrs Oakley Fisher’ roses left – it will be interesting to see whether they are still there).
You will be able to visit the house if you wish, but our trip price does not include a guided tour. Great Dixter has a good-sized nursery stocking an exciting variety of distinctive and unusual plants, 80% of which are grown on site and may well be seen in the garden.
Refreshments are available from the Loggia next to the Great Dixter shop, including baguettes, salads, cakes and hot drinks. There is no hot food, however.
Picnics may be taken in designated areas near the car parks at both venues, NOT in the gardens, please.