Following on from last week’s Great Dixter blog, here’s a few more irresistible plant combinations and inspirational ideas from the gardens at this time of year. Grown as part of the Great Dixter pot displays, Eucomis comosa ’Sparkling Burgundy’ is a joyous sight next to Rudbeckia ‘Kelvedon Star’. ‘Kelvedon Star’ is an annual Rudbeckia-seeds available from Thompson and Morgan. Great Dixter buy their bulbs from Peter Nyssen, who are hoping to stock this Eucomis next year, and Eucomis ‘Sparking Burgundy’ is also available from Avon Bulbs with 9 other Eucomis cultivars too.
The simple yet stunning combination of Amni visnaga (left) and Verbena bonariensis has inspired me to order seeds now in order to plant up a forgotten corner in our local area. Amni visnaga is a hardy annual and seeds planted now will have established themselves well enough to survive the winter and get a head start on Spring sowings. Verbena bonariensis is a somewhat less hardy short-lived perennial, but makes up for this by being a prodigious self-seeder. Seeds should be planted inside a greenhouse or indoors in spring and planted out in May/June to create a gorgeous late summer purple haze. Seeds for Amni visnaga from Sarah Raven, Verbena seeds available from the fabulous Chiltern’s Seeds catalogue.
Through the floating purple heads of Verbena bonariensis, a Schefflera, possibly Schefflera Hoi?-available from Crug Farm plants, is visible in the Exotic garden.
Creamy, or should that be dreamy Artemesia lactiflora (available from Great Dixter Nursery) sits wonderfully in a border surrounded by the scrunchy flower heads of the purple leafed Atriplex hortensis (Chiltern’s Seeds), the pink nodding heads of Persicaria orientalis and the deeper pink heads of Eupatorium Riesenschirm (Great Dixter Nursery).
And around the corner the same Eupatorium Riesenschirm provides a wonderfully contrasting background for Helianthus ‘Capenoch Star’ (Great Dixter Nursey).
Trial beds and compost heaps planted with gourds and Nasturtium add to the bucolic bliss at Great Dixter. I love these none-too-manicured corners of the garden,
where outer areas merge into the surrounding countryside.
In the trial beds, Hollyhocks are being put through their paces for possible use in one of the beds next year,
and Rosa setipoda continues to provide interest with its beautifully elongated red hips in the long border.
Adjacent to the house, plump red round hips of Rosa rugosa are gorgeously decorative too.
In the long border, the glowing red (and feathery leaves) of the annual Tagetes ‘Cinnabar’ creates an arresting combination alongside a shocking pink Petunia and the faded yellow miniature pompoms of Santolina pinnata subsp. neapolitana (available from the Great Dixter Nursery).
There’s so much more to see at Great Dixter, where textures and colours seem to effortlessly knit together, forming rewarding layers of planting at every glance. I love going back at different times of the year to see how different areas have developed and changed throughout the seasons. The more I visit, the more I appreciate the depth and richness of the planting that makes Great Dixter such a wonderful garden to visit, and one that you want to return to again and again.