Among the 14 gardens opening for the National Gardens Scheme in Norfolk during May there several which have features and activities to surprise and delight.
On Sunday 5th May PLOVERS HILL, Strumpshaw NR13 4NL has several modern sculptures and one prominent feature which started life in Bond Street,London.The garden also has a RIBA award winning orangery and the huge Mulberry tree is not as old as you may think. Puzzled? The owner Jan Saunt will tell all when you visit. Oh, and there are some lovely flower borders and a great kitchen garden.
At HOW HILL FARM, Ludham NR29 5PG on Sunday 19th May there are some truly medieval features in a wonderfully scenic garden in a broadland setting, complete with windmill. Many of the features are architectural fragments rescued over many years from the demolition crew’s wrecking ball, by owner Peter Boardman. Among the artefacts are gates from Blickling Hall mausoleum, stone from Norwich Cathedral spire and a large stone window frame from Happisburgh School. All have been skillfully integrated into a great Norfolk garden. Octogenarian Peter will be opening his garden for a remarkable 31st year, and the biggest surprise awaits you in his conservatory, it’s unique, and what is it? You will have to go and see on the day and prepare to be amazed!!
THE OLD RECTORY, RIDLINGTON, nr North Walsham NR28 9NZ also opens on the 19th May. This is a tranquil 2 acre garden and normally a peaceful spot for a famed NGS homemade tea, but owner Fiona Black likes to liven things up a bit, so in the afternoon, the Stalham brass band will get your feet tapping. Bring the children (free admission) along for a treasure hunt and if tea and cake is not sufficient, then the BBQ from 12 to 2pm should satisfy the hungriest visitor.
WEST VIEW, East Ruston, NR12 9JN. Opens jointly with The Old Rectory and the 1 acre garden is a plantsman’s delight with abundant floral delights. The surprise? The combined admission charge to both gardens is only £5, a bargain day out for all the family!
THE OLD RECTORY, BRANDON PARVA, Brandon Parva NR9 4DL opens on Sunday 26th May and is a garden full of surprises, with secret compartments all linked by pergolas covered in wisterias, clematis and roses. If you look carefully you will come across an immaculate croquet lawn and even better, all the kit for a game, everyone is welcome to have a go!