a rhode island garden party to benefit dixter

NO GARDEN IN THE WORLD EVER WOWED ME like Great Dixter, the family home of the late garden writer and plantsman Christopher Lloyd. Yes, the topiaries; yes, the history; yes, the range of plants (all of which I wanted to be able to grow). But most of all, I think it was the use of color, er, colour (for the garden is in East Sussex, England). “I have no segregated colour schemes,” Lloyd wrote. “In fact, I take it as a challenge to combine every sort of colour effectively.” Christo would be happy knowing that some of the most colorful gardeners in America, those in Little Compton, Rhode Island, are opening their places to benefit Dixter, in a daylong garden party June 5. Can you come?

For just $40, plus $10 for lunch, visitors can enjoy Nate and Berta Atwater’s modernist masterpiece, before heading to John Gwynne and Mikel Folcarelli’s rarity-stuffed hidden garden, Sakonnet. Amazing Opus Nursery, the place of master grower Ed Bowen, will be on hand all day for a plant sale that’s every bit as special as the palette of Dixter.

For those within a day’s drive, this is a garden party not to be missed. Get glimpses of all the gardens (as well as of Dixter) and the event details in this pdf about the event. Best of all: Each dollar raised will be matched by the UK’s “lottery board” so that Great Dixter may carry on in its colorful, inspirational style.

(Anthony Chammond photo of pots at Dixter from Flickr.)

  1. Sandra B says:

    The wonderful Christopher Lloyd answered the telephone at Great Dixter when I was ‘phoning for a plant catalogue – I was amazed!! I have most of his books and loved his style of gardening which is still carrying on with Fergus Garrett his Head Gardener. What a great idea, a garden party to benefit Great Dixter.

    Sandra Barnes – England

  2. Julie Murphy says:

    Hi Maragaret!

    In case you have not heard…

    Fergus Garrett will be at Blithewold on Sunday, June 27, 2010. I hope you can come! Feel free to spread the word! Anyone who mentions hearing about the Fergus event from your Blog we will offer a special rate of $30 per ticket.
    Here are the details…

    Fergus Garrett: The Spirit of Great Dixter
    WHEN: Sunday, June 27, 2010 at 12:00PM – 2:00PM

    WHERE: Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum

    Join us for tea and a talk by special guest Fergus Garrett, Head Gardener of Great Dixter, the house and garden of the late world renowned horticulturist Christopher Lloyd. Located near Northiam in East Sussex, England, Great Dixter’s gardens are regarded as the epitome of English plantsmanship. The property is particularly noted for its wealth of perennials and extensive topiary. Fergus will speak about all aspects of Great Dixter, from its garden color, planting combinations and meadows, to the house and its interiors. He will include an account of his apprenticeship to the great “Christo”. Fergus is also a well known author and authority on innovative garden design in his own right.

    Tea and scones from Russ Morin Caterers is included in the price of admission.

    Learn more about the history of Great Dixter and Fergus Garrett’s work developing and preserving its gardens at http://www.greatdixter.co.uk

    Price: $35 Blithewold Members, $45 Non-Members. Please register early; tickets are limited.

    Thanks and I hope to see you there! Feel free to call or email to register or with any questions.


    Julie MurphyJulie Murphy

    Education Coordinator

    Blithewold Mansion Gardens & Arboretum

    101 Ferry Road

    Bristol, RI 02809

    401-253-2707 ext. 16

    fax: 401-253-0412


    An American Garden Treasure … Come, and Be Inspired

  3. Donna says:

    Thanks for the heads up on this garden party in Little Compton. Without you, I would not have known about it and would have missed a great party. The Atwater garden is sublime. The Sakonnet garden is wildly ridiculous. We saw them in perfect order moving from reverent hushed tones during the morning to giggles burbling up from the various “so zone 7” rooms in the acre of imaginative madness in the afternoon. It was a great day for a worthy cause. Thanks again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.