My latest visit to Great Dixter was at the beginning of June, volunteering there for 4 days. The gardens were bursting with colour and had completely filled out from when I last saw them in mid March.This pink cow parsley-Chaerophyllum hirsutum ‘Roseum’- planted through with Allium, was a stunning part of a border in the ‘Barn’ garden.
Oli was digging holes in the compost heaps, which could be then filled with compost, ready for 2 gourds to be planted in each hole. In this huge compost heap, he prepared 27 holes! As the gourds grow they will decoratively hangdown the sides of the compost heaps during summer and will then be ready to harvest in Autumn.
I spent most of my time weeding the vegetable beds, and preparing fruit ( in this case, delcious rhubarb), flowers (sweet peas) and vegetables (lettuces and radishes) for sale to Great Dixter visitors and earthing up potatoes .Potatoes need to be earthed up ( soil gathered up around the growing leaves) when the leaves are about 8 inches(20cm) high to stop the newly forming potatoes being exposed to too much sunlight and turning green. This makes them poisonous and no good for eating. Follow this link to see ‘how to’ earth up potatoes and when is the best time to do this.
Had a wonderful time working at Great Dixter with such enthusiastic, friendly and knowledgable gardeners and hopefully will be volunteering there again later in the summer.
A more recent Great Dixter post can be seen here.