Knowing that we were headed to Dungeness, an old friend of mine, Marieje, got in touch:

"Hi Rosie, I see you are heading towards Derek Jarman's garden. Howard Sooley is a good friend of ours and used to be very close to Jarman and photographed his garden for the book Derek Jarman's Garden. Recently this short film was released and is worth a look. I am a great admirer of all Howard's work which you can check out at "

This beautiful short is part of a series on Great Gardens, published by The Nowness. So poetic is this series that it will slow you right down, make you want to up sticks and leave the city, but that's nature for you. It includes a film, also by Howard, on Christopher Lloyd's crafted explosion of a garden at Great Dixter, not far from Dungeness in Northiam, East Sussex. 

My brother — who can at least lay claim to being a trained gardener — told me Great Dixter was so beautiful it would make me cry. More of an optimist, I say Christopher Llyod's work will bring you out in a smile, for two reasons: The 'high octane planting' at Great Dixter is so jam-packed full of life it's thrilling; And his audacious, entertaining writing, that makes light work of heavy gardening. Here's Lloyd's comic take on when a plant dies.

Mysterious Deaths

"When a plant dies in your garden, how do you react? Do you re-enact one of the historic tragic roles: Medea, Phaedra, Werther, Macbeth? Do you lash out? Or do you, with a glazed, all-passion-spent expression, merely comment that plants invariably die on you anyway, and that you only have to look at it for one to wilt forthwith? Or perhaps you gleefully rub your hands and say 'Good. Now that's made room for a mandragora. I have been longing for the excuse to get one for years."

Christopher Llyod
The Well-Tempered Garden


Derek Jarman's Garden
Derek Jarman, Howard Sooley

The Well-Tempered Garden
Christopher Lloyd