The National Gardens Scheme (NGS) in Norfolk gives everyone a glimpse of gardens with a difference.

The key to them all is the NGS 2014 Yellow Guide which is an essential companion for garden lovers to explore the many hidden garden gems throughout Norfolk.

The popular presenter of BBC Radio Norfolk’s Garden Party programme, Thordis Fridriksson, was present on the 4th February to launch the guide in the magnificent setting of Mannington Hall, generously hosted by The Lord and Lady Walpole. Thordis said “Every year, thousands of gardens throughout England and Wales get ready to welcome visitors through the National Gardens Scheme.  Here in Norfolk, gardens range from the small and quirky to the large and grand.  Very often you will have a chance to meet the owners, enjoy home-made refreshments, and purchase some exciting plants”.

This year the Norfolk guide features sixty four open gardens.  Many keen followers will be pleased that eight new gardens are showcased ranging from an extensive seventeen acres of gardens and parkland at Brinton Grange in Melton Constable to an exotic tardis of a garden at Sui Na Mara in Bacton. At Whartons Rose Fields near Diss there will be the fabulous sight and smell of one and half million roses presented by the UK’s largest rose grower!

Several gardens are making a welcome return including The Grange in the beautiful village of Heydon on the 22nd June. Over recent years the garden has been rejuvenated with roses and perennials in the ancient walled garden and is well worth a visit.

County organiser Fiona Black said “The 2014 Norfolk NGS Garden Guide is unique in encouraging everyone to get to know their neighbours and community by nurturing an interest in other people’s gardens.  One day you might visit a garden that has opened on your doorstep, and the next you might be getting to know a gardener in a part of the county you’ve never been to before. We are also extremely grateful to the local businesses and owners of public gardens whose sponsorship through advertising allows us to produce and distribute such a high quality and free guide”.

Last year Norfolk raised a record £85,000 which is a tribute to the generosity of garden visitors and our hard working garden owners. This really does make a difference for the vital nursing and caring charities the NGS supports.  Every garden is different and provides a great day out at a relatively low price, complete with tea and wonderful homemade cakes!”

Now shake off the winter cold and follow the NGS snowdrop trail, starting with The Mowle, Ludham, 9TH February, Horstead House, 22nd February, Bagthorpe Hall 23rd February, and  finally Chestnut Farm 27th Feb and 2nd March 2014.

All are open 11 to 4pm and serve warming refreshments!

Pick up a copy of the Norfolk NGS 2014 Guide at your local library,tourist information centre, garden centre and nursery or visit www.ngs.org.uk


 Picture taken at Mannington Hall with from left, Fiona Black(NGS Norfolk County Organiser), Alan Gray (NGS Ambassador), Thordis Fridriksson (BBC Radio Garden Party Presenter), The Lord Walpole (Venue Host)


·        Founded in 1927, the NGS gave £2.2 million to nursing and other caring charities in 2013 from money raised by opening more than 3800 private gardens in England and Wales.

·        The NGS is Macmillan Cancer Support’s biggest ever donor and has given £13.8m in total   

·        The NGS is Marie Curie biggest ever donor and has given £5.9m in total

·        In 2012 the donation made to Help the Hospices was the biggest they have ever received

·        Charities supported by the National Gardens Scheme this year include Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Help the Hospices, The Carers Trust and Parkinson’s UK.

·        Visitors to the NGS website can use the online ‘garden search’ tool to find out which NGS gardens are open on specific dates and within chosen areas throughout the year. 

·        The free NGS iOS app for iPhone and iPad will allow visitors to see what’s on and share garden opening details with friends via Facebook and Twitter.


 Taekwondo, Norfolk, Suffolk