The Art of Practical Gardening at Great Dixter

The Art of Practical Gardening at Great Dixter

For Our American Friends

31st January to 7th February 2009

Christopher Lloyd was one of the most inspired plants men and garden writers of the past century. He spent his lifetime practicing and refining his art at Great Dixter, his family’s rambling Sussex Manor House in Southeast England. We are offering an intensive, hands-on course, conducted by Fergus Garrett, Lloyd’s talented Head Gardener and friend.

Come and experience Great Dixter in the middle of winter, with its open log fires and special atmosphere, during its closed season. This will be a very intensive study week based primarily on the practical issues around working with and managing mixed flower borders.

As requested by our previous symposium participants we are running a practical course where most of the time is spent working outside to gain first hand training on the practical skills required at a higher level. This work will be led by Fergus and will cover:

  • Composting and soil amelioration
  • Planting, spacing, and composition of planting groups
  • Dealing with lifting, splitting and resettling of plants
  • Handling and thinning of self-sowers
  • Staking and using climbers on poles
  • Pruning and thinning of trees, shrubs and climbers
  • Shaping of trees and tree surgery
  • Winter propagation and seed sowing in preparation for spring
  • Integrating bulbs through your borders (lecture and discussion)
  • Increasing winter interest without diluting the summer show
  • Tools of the trade
  • Working in an ancient coppice woodland

All work will be executed to the highest standard in preparation for opening this world class garden in early spring.


The symposium is limited to only 12 participants, places allocated on a first come first served basis by emailing Aaron Bertelsen at The last date for booking and final payment is 1st January 2009.


Fees include: All lodging, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all transportation to and from hotel, outings, and group meals in front of the fire at Great Dixter.

The complete cost of symposium is £2,550.00 (flights not included). We require a deposit of £500 (non refundable) on application to secure your place. The participants will be staying in individual rooms at a local hotel.


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