All the Fun of the Fair6th October 2016 • Places to Visit • Stephanie Donaldson
I’m sure regular readers of my blog must think that I spend half my life at Great Dixter, but if you had one of the world’s great gardens half an hour from home wouldn’t you? Anyway, I was there again on Sunday for the Plant Fair and a jolly good time was being had by all. It has become quite the social event, with gardeners from far and near meeting up and buying treasures to take home with them. My haul was quite restrained – for once. Two more ferns for the woodland area – Blechnum chilense and Athyrium filix-femina ‘Frizelliae’; a Persicaria ‘White Eastfield’ that will also do well in shade; a pink-flowered form of the hardy begonia Begonia grandis subsp. evansiana called ‘Claret Jug’ – and one mad purchase – Aristea ecklonii. The Aristea isn’t reliably hardy, but I loved its fans of iris-like leaves and stems that wave above the leaves with dainty bright blue star flowers. I will overwinter it undercover and then divide it up next spring, keeping some in a pot and planting the rest in the garden to see how it does in our mild coastal conditions. According to the seller, the always interesting Binny Plants, it also grows easily from seed.