Garden Secrets: My Life as a Great Dixter Volunteer.

Great Dixter house with colourful floral bedding in foreground
Great Dixter house from the Long Border

When I retired as a councillor last May, I contacted Fergus Garrett, the Head Gardener and Chief Executive at Great Dixter to ask if I could work there for a day a week as a volunteer. I knew Fergus, albeit not that well, from my work as Hastings Council leader. He told me to just turn up the following Tuesday. When I did, no-one had any idea that I was expected, but when I said Fergus had told me to come, they sighed and gave me a form to fill in. And so my career as a Dixter gardening volunteer began. It’s been at times wet, cold, tedious, repetitive, hard, and tiring.  But it’s been hugely enjoyable. Here’s an account of the Dixter way of the world, how the place runs, and what I’ve learned.

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