Witton Hall
Witton Hall

Gardens Full of Late Spring Colour

If you like bright flower colour from vivid displays of bluebells through to the glorious technicolour of rhododendrons and azaleas then the National Gardens Scheme in Norfolk has plenty for you to feast your eyes on. 17 gardens opening during May and here is just a glimpse of some of them for you to visit:

Witton Hall nr North Walsham opens on Bank Holiday Monday 4th May, here you can wander through carpets of true English bluebells in the woodland walks.

At Holme Hale Hall, situated between Swaffham and Dereham on Sunday 10th May, tulips, alliums and a magnificent wisteria are the main attraction.

Lexham Hall

Azaleas and rhododendrons look magnificent at both Lexham Hall, nr Litcham and How Hill Farm, Ludham, on Sunday 17th May, and Sheringham Park continues the theme on Thursday 21st May.

On 24th May, The Old Rectory at Brandon Parva is a quiet oasis with shady pergolas dripping with wisteria and clematis, and much more in a four acre garden.

Bolwick Hall
Bolwick Hall

Bolwick Hall at Marsham opens on 31st May and brings the month to a rousing end with azaleas and rhodendrons reflecting along the lakeside.

All the gardens will serve delicious homemade teas and many have plants for sale.


Visit NGS Gardens in May 2015

Sun 3 May

DAISY COTTAGE, Roughton, Norwich NR11 8AF. 

Open (11-5).  Adm £4.50, chd free Light refreshments. 

2 acre garden not to be missed, with areas dedicated for wildlife, incl stream, pond, and more formally a Japanese style garden. Among its features are mixed borders for autumn colour, vegetable garden and apiary, chickens and ducks. For the early opening a huge planting of late spring bulbs will delight, The garden has an individual charm whatever the season. Produce and plants for sale. Bees and bugs in the garden demo.

Sun 3, Mon 4 May

LAKE HOUSE, Brundall NR13 5LU. 

Open (11-5). Adm £4, chd free. Combined adm with Plovers Hill £6

Home-made teas at Plovers Hill, Strumpshaw..  

In the centre of Brundall Gardens, a series of ponds descends through a wooded valley to the shore of a lake. Steep paths wind through a variety of shrubs and flowers in season, which attract many kinds of rare birds, dragonflies and mammals. This is an historic water garden.

PLOVERS HILL, Strumpshaw NR13 4NL. 

Open. (11-5). Adm £4, Combined adm with Lake House £6. chd free.

Home-made teas and plants for sale.

1-acre garden of contrasts, small C18 house (not open) with RIBA award winning orangery. Formal lawn hedged with yew and lesser species, huge mulberry, gingko, liquidambar and Japanese bitter orange, herbaceous borders with a range of varied plants and spring bulbs. Kitchen garden with orchard and soft fruits. Garden sculptures. Water feature. Cast aluminium silver birches

Mon 4 May

WITTON HALL nr North Walsham NR28 9UF. 

Open (12-4). Adm £3, chd free.. Light refreshments and plants for sale.

A natural woodland garden. Walk past the handkerchief tree and wander through carpets of English bluebells, rhododendrons and azaleas. Walk from the garden down the field to the church. Stunning views over farmland to the sea.

Sun 10 May

CHESTNUT FARM,  West Beckham, NR25 6NX

Open (11-5).  Adm £4.50, chd free. Light lunches and teas available

Mature 3 acre garden for all seasons with recent additions, created over 50yrs by enthusiastic plant lovers. Lawns, formal areas, herbaceous borders, vegetables and fruit. Woodland garden and small arboretum.

HOLME HALE HALL Holme Hale, IP25 7ED. 

Open (12-4).  Adm £5, chd free. Light refreshments and plants for sale.

Noted for its spring display of tulips and aliums, historic wisteria. Walled kitchen garden and front garden designed and planted in 2000 by Chelsea winner Arne Maynard. The garden incorporates herbaceous borders, trained fruit, vegetables and traditional greenhouse. We have created a terrace and nuttery and restored the Victorian Ice House.

SLY’S FARM, North Creake, NR21 9JQ. 

Open (12-5). Adm £4, chd free. Home-made teas and plants for sale. 

To the rear of the house is a walled 1-acre mature garden with hidden rooms and pathways revealing a wide variety of texture, colour and diversity of plants. At its best in spring. In front of the house there are mature trees and stream with a small pond.

Sun 17 May


Open. (1-5).  Adm £4, chd free. Home-made teas.

Broadland garden. 2 very different gardens around the house. 3rd garden started 1968 on green field site with 3 acre broad dug 1978 with views of Turf Fen Mill, R Ant and Reedham Marshes. Approx 12 acres incl Broad, 4 ponds, site of old Broad with 100yr old Tussock sedges 5ft tall, approx 1 acre of indigenous ferns under oak and alder. Paths through rare conifers, rhododendrons, azaleas, ornamental trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. Collection of holly species and varieties. Various very old stone carvings used for seats, excellent vistas.

LEXHAM HALL, nr Litcham PE32 2QJ. 

Open (11-5). Adm £5, chd free. Home-made teas, plants for sale.

Fine C17/C18 Hall (not open). Parkland with lake and river walks. Formal garden with terraces, yew hedges, roses and mixed borders. Traditional kitchen garden with crinkle crankle wall. A garden of all year round interest, acid loving shrubs are the highlight in May. Rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and magnolias dominate the 3 acre woodland garden. Fine trees. Bulbs with emerging perennials and shrubs in the many walled garden borders.

MANOR FARM, COSTON, Coston, nr Barnham Broom NR9 4DT. 

Open (11-5). Adm £4, chd free. Home-made teas plants for sale.

Approx 3 acre country garden, several small garden rooms with both formal and informal planting. Walled kitchen garden, white, grass and late summer gardens, roses, herbaceous and shrub borders. Wild flower areas with new Pictorial Meadows borders. Many interesting plants. Dogs and picnics most welcome.

Thur 21 May

SHERINGHAM PARK, Wood Farm Visitors Centre, Upper Sheringham NR26 8TL. Open (10-5).  Adm £5 per car, chd free. Light refreshments in Courtyard Cafe.

80 acres of species rhododendron, azalea and magnolia. Also numerous specimen trees incl handkerchief tree. Viewing towers, waymarked walks, sea and parkland views. No adm charge to Sheringham Park, car park charge payable, £5 for non NT members. Special walkway and WCs for disabled. 1½m route is accessable for wheelchairs, mobility scooters available to hire.

Sun 24 May

ELM  HOUSE, Saxlingham Nethergate, Norwich NR15 1TH

Open (11-5). Adm £4, chd free Home-made teas, plants for sale. 

2 acre country garden filled with extensive planting in mixed island beds, and late summer herbaceous borders. Pergola with climbing roses. clematis and honeysuckle underplanted with nepeta. A large natural pond is home to ducks and moorhens and a haven for wildlife. Pygmy goats, chickens and grandchildren all share the paddock area.

THE OLD RECTORY, BRANDON PARVA, Stone Lane, Brandon Parva NR9 4DL. Open (11-5). Adm £4, chd free. Home-made teas and plants for sale.

4-acre, mature garden with large collection (70) specimen trees, huge variety of shrubs and herbaceous plants combined to make beautiful mixed borders. The garden comprises several formal lawns and borders, woodland garden incl rhododendrons, pond garden, a walled garden and pergolas covered in wisteria, roses and clematis which create long shady walkways. Croquet lawn open for visitors to play.

Sun 31 May


Open (1-5). Adm £5, chd free,. Home-made teas and plants for sale.

Landscaped gardens and park surrounding a late Georgian hall. The original garden design is attributed to Humphry Repton. The current owners have rejuvenated the borders, planted gravel and formal gardens and clad the walls of the house in old roses. Enjoy a woodland walk around the lake as well as as stroll through the working vegetable and fruit garden with its double herbaceous border.

OULTON HALL,Oulton, Aylsham NR11 6NU. 

Open (1-5). Adm £5, chd free. Teas and plants for sale.

C18 manor house (not open) and clocktower set in 6-acre garden with lake and woodland walks. Chelsea designer’s own garden – herbaceous, Italian, bog, water, wild, verdant, sunken and parterre gardens all flowing from one tempting vista to another. Developed over 16yrs with emphasis on structure, height and texture, with a lot of recent replanting in the contemporary manner.


Open (12-5). Combined adm with West View  £5, chd free. Home-made teas and plants for sale. Barbecue 12-2.

A tranquil 2 acre garden around a former rectory. Established trees and topiary. Mixed borders of shrubs, perennials, roses and bulbs, raised vegetable beds. Enjoy a cup of tea in the garden and listen to Stalham Brass Band 2-4pm. Children’s treasure hunt.

WEST VIEW, East Ruston, NR12 9JN. 

Open (12-5). Combined adm with The Old Rectory, Ridlington  £5, chd free. 

1 acre plantsmans garden incl borders with trees and shrubs underplanted with carpets of hellebores and bulbs, pergolas with roses and clematis, greenhouse with many interesting plants, a summer border with mixed perennials, vegetable parterre, tropical border, orchard and pond.


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