Greetings from the Gardens

Every season is special in the Dixon gardens, but of all the seasons, winter can sometimes be overlooked. Mid-south winters are mild, and there are often many days with pleasant weather allowing visitors to enjoy the gardens. The winter garden is more subtle, and the flowers are fewer in number, making them more special. 

While the bulbs are sleeping and getting the necessary chilling for spring splendor, gardeners need to chill as well. We need to enjoy a little respite and regroup from the flurry of activities in the fall before the spring takes over.  

For gardeners, winter is a time to prepare for the coming of spring. Spring is such a busy season in the gardens with all our activities and garden visitors, we can miss spring’s beauty and splendor. Winter planning now ensures that we will have more time to enjoy the gardens later. 

This January, our flower arrangements in the residence will become greener and more sustainable as well as more connected to the gardens. We will be discontinuing our use of Oasis floral foam. This provides us with an opportunity to use more cut branches and greenery to highlight our living collections and what is blooming on the grounds. 

We have many opportunities to learn and grow at the Dixon this winter. In January we will focus on gardening indoors with house plants, and we have developed several workshops and lectures on this topic. Recently, there has been a great deal of interest in houseplant gardening and everyone has a space that could use greening up. February will focus on local food with a Garden to Table Dinner featuring Aaron Bertelsen from Great Dixter and Chef Phillip Dewayne from Park and Cherry. There are also workshops and presentations focused on growing your own food. 

In mid-March, we kick off the spring season with Dixon Blooms: Tulips-Wild Orgins. We have planted over 150,000 spring flowering bulbs which have become a spring tradition in the Mid-south. In addition to our usual displays, we have added many species of tulips which help to tell the story of the wild origins of the tulip and how horticulturalists and plant scientists have bred the bold, colorful, and showy hybrids we enjoy today. March also brings the annual Mid-south Daffodil Society Show, which the Dixon hosts once again. 

Think of winter in the Dixon gardens as a season of beauty all its own. The sun is lower on the horizon creating different shadows, the design framework of the garden is revealed, there are plants that continue to bloom, and occasionally we get a blanket of snow that lasts for a day or two. All of these allow us to look at the gardens in a different context. I invite you to come and enjoy the slower pace in the gardens this season. You might find a deeper, more meaningful connection to this place that would not be possible in the other seasons.  

See you in the gardens,

Dale Skaggs 
Director of Horticulture


Posted by Kristen Rambo at 11:54 AM
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