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If only I were nearer - I'd definitely be repeat visiting to get a grip on the principle of garden layers :)

It was a truly great day and lovely to see you again!

Anna B

Hi Helen! It was good meeting you at Great Dixter. I wish I lived nearer too. What a fabulous place. You know I hadn't noticed the lack of plant labels but the next day we went to Wisley where I felt the labels absolutely ruined it. So I hope Great Dixter remains label-less! You're so right about the helpful students and volunteers, we quizzed a couple of them about the lupins before we left!


Hi, VP, even though we're closer it takes a surprising amount of time to get there (more when we're getting lost!), so I doubt if we'll be back there for a bit. Hope to see you on another jaunt soon.

Hi, Anna, lovely to meet you too. I hope you've enjoyed the sojourn south. Funnily enough we alsowent to Wisley a couple of days ago and I absolutely agree about the labels. They just stand out like a forest at this time of year. There must be a happy medium!


Hello all,

Catherine here (from Dixter) - one thing we often do is turn Maggie's plant ID tests into a jam jar plants of interest thing by the front door- complete with labels (albeit on cardboard)-there is still a feeling that labels around the garden ruin the effect of the borders- so this is a kind of homespun happy medium. We also do a plants in flower leaflet as the season gets going with honesty box by the front door. That way visitors get to choose whether they want more info or not.

Christo's arguement was that people would step into the borders to look at labels, often pinch them- as well as that they look unsightly.

I guess you'll never please everyone but we have been trying to do a bit more :)



Hi, Catherine. It was lovely to meet you last week. Thank you for your response. I wondered if lists of plants were available - great to be able to take it away and scribble notes on it. Plant labels are always contentious and, as Anna pointed out, having seen Wisley recently, Great Dixter looked much more attractive without all the tall labels standing like sentries (label-engendered misbehaviour by the public hadn't crossed my mind!) but home-made labels sound like a good compromise - it's usually the plastic (and garishly illustrated!) ones that look so terrible.


Hi Helen, I've always found the staff so helpful that I haven't noticed the lack of plant labels. If there's a plant that you've seen and you describe it to someone in the nursery, they'll miraculously know what you're talking about and more often than not, have the plant in stock too!
I didn't get the chance to visit Great Dixter last year and felt like I'd missed out, so will be making supreme efforts to visit again soon. Hopefully if the weather warms up(?), I'll get to see the Tulips doing their thing. Lovely to meet you, and love your post from the day. N x


Hello Helen, It was lovely to meet you and to revisit the day via your post. I was so carried along by Fergus' enthusiasm for his planting that my notes were not as comprehensive as yours! Now that I know I can easily get to Dixter and back in a day (about 2 and a half hours for me), regular visits will be something to look forward to throughout the year. I really have to go back and see the "experimentation" for myself in future months!
PS. For now, I'm for the labels although I agree they spoil the overall look. As a student of garden design, I place great importance on being able to correctly identify a plant for future reference!

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