After leaving Great Dixter, it was hard to imagine that other gardens we would visit would meet the very high bar that had been set by Christopher Lloyd's garden. I am delighted to say that we saw many other incredible gardens, each amazing, and each very different. The first we went to after Great Dixter was Pashley Manor, which is still privately owned and inhabited. It has both incredible plantings and an extraordinary collection of contemporary art scattered throughout the gardens.
Frank particularly loves roses and fragrances, and this walled garden (below) simply blew him away. The plantings of lavender, pink roses and espaliered pears was really breathtaking!
The family owns a pair of black swans, one of whom can be particularly nasty. They look rather tame in this photo, but "Fred" made it clear I was to come no closer!
This sculpture is a companion to the first one, and I thought was particularly beautiful. She's about 6 feet tall, and the little balls around her feet are part of the installation.
Next we went to a small garden called "Old Brockhurst" that was open for the National Garden Scheme. The house is 16th century, but the garden is only about 20 years old. The prior owner had almost completely stripped any plantings. The current owners, a retired couple, love this garden and open it for charity on TWENTY weekends a year! That's commitment to a charity! They also sell their own produce, flowers, and plants, all going to charity.
Our last stop that day was at Chilstone, which is one the THE concrete ornament companies in the world. They were open on a Saturday just by coincidence, and it didn't disappoint.. Fortunately for Frank, the shipping costs to Atlanta were prohibitive on most items....these are a couple of things I thought were pretty fabulous, though....
As always, click on the photos to enlarge them to see more detail.