Autumn Glory at Great Dixter7th October 2014 • General • Stephanie Donaldson
The autumn plant fair at Dixter just gets better and better – and going there on a day of cloudless blue skies and warm sun made it particularly glorious. This year there were thirty-two stands including several specialist nurseries from Europe as well as the cream of the UK crop. For once I was very restrained about what I bought for the garden – a month’s absence concentrated my mind on buying a few things that I knew I could (and did) get planted – some young Orlaya plants that I’ve tucked into the borders and two Aster Betel Nut – tall with vibrantly pink flowers that are now adding a touch of oomph amongst the grasses. The only other plant I bought was a present for a friend – Magnolia ‘Kay Parrish’. Her twenty year old magnolia grandiflora has never flowered, whereas this 1.5metre tall shrub already had a flower bud. ‘Kay Parrish’ is renowned for growing into a compact and well-shaped tree that flowers from its earliest years. Fergus Garrett and his team have put together an event that rivals Courson outside Paris. The plants are top quality, the food was delicious and the garden itself was in its full autumn splendour. A lovely, lovely day out.