The gardener's eye

The Gardener's Eye

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Deny Yourself Nothing

I visited Great Dixter with The Best of English Garden Tour on Tuesday and had a very inspired and erudite tour of the gardens lead by Siew Lee Vorley, Assistant Head Gardener at Great Dixter. The motto at Great Dixter, we learned, was "Deny Yourself Nothing." I had never heard that before but it was very appropriate. Great Dixter is all about trying new plants and experimentation. One of the benefits of England's cool, and late, spring was that all the tulips were near peak in the gardens. It was clear that they had denied themselves no tulips this year, especially the red ones.


  1. It sounds very tempting, Michael, to deny myself nothing, if only it were possible!
    Something I notice in different localities is the quality of light. My understanding is that English light - if there can be said to be such a thing - is diffuse, mellow. That allows for colour to really stand out. I wonder what your thoughts are on this, and whether you notice much difference between where you are now and what you have at home.
    Have a wonderful time!

    1. Faisal, I had always thought that conventional wisdom said the light in England was less intense and favored a pastel palette while our light here in North America was brighter and more intense which shows off hot colors better. That seems to be the case from my experience. I would think your light is more similar to New England than England?

  2. Seeing a perennial border recreated in so many pots in photo #4 is stunning - it almost has me enjoying perennial borders! The light is nice to me, and it really brings out the red tulips and other reds.

    1. Dave, Great Dixter has numerous potted plants in arrangements that are constantly changing. It has inspired me to try it more often here in New Hampshire. The weather was stark and cold while we were at Great Dixter but the pictures came out beautifully. I think we hit the peak time for tulips.



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