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Great Gardens: Dungeness and Great Dixter


Great Gardens: Dungeness and Great Dixter

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


The Fourth World


The Fourth World

Tim Rich is a talented writer and always has a poignant word to get you thinking. This post on his blog, 66,000milesperhour resonates with the concept of No Fixed Abode. It's an excerpt about the notion of the Fourth World, from the author Jan Morris's Trieste, and the Meaning of Nowhere a city of perpetual wanderers that has changed hands and changed countries countless time. Trieste is a place that is at home everywhere and yet nowhere. Don't take my word for it, read Tim's full post.
From Trieste, by Jan Morris (Faber & Faber)
There are people everywhere who form a Fourth World, or a diaspora of their own.

They are the lordly ones! They come in all colours.

They can be Christians or Hindus or Muslims or Jews or pagans or atheists.

They can be young or old, men or women, soldiers or pacifists, rich or poor.

They may be patriots, but they are never chauvinists.

They share with each other, across all the nations, common values of humour and understanding.

When you are among them you know you will not be mocked or resented, because they will not care about your race, your faith, your sex or your nationality, and they suffer fools if not gladly, at least sympathetically.
They laugh easily. They are easily grateful. They are never mean.
They are not inhibited by fashion, public opinion, or political correctness.
They are exiles in their own communities, because they are always in a minority, but they form a mighty nation, if they only knew it.

It is the nation of nowhere.