Norfolk Garden Trail
The Magnificent Seven... Norfolk Gardens. The Norfolk Garden Trail is a self-guided trail around some of the most beautiful gardens of West Norfolk, starting at Congham Hall’s own exquisite herb garden. Download the Trail leaflet for more information; http://bit.ly/1KfGzdU
The locations of the trail include;
1. The Herb Garden, Congham Hall
Congham Hall’s renowned Herb Garden, which draws visitors from far and wide. First planted in 1982, it now features some 400 varieties of herbs – from basil to buckler leaf sorrel – including rare plants, such as goat’s rue, which was once used to treat the plague.
2. Gooderstone Water Gardens
In 1970, local farmer Billy Knights created the Gooderstone Water Gardens out of a wet meadow that was too damp for his cattle to graze. Until his death in 1994, Mr Knights refused to be a slave to fashion and added to the gardens according to his own tastes. Today, the naturalistic planting of native and cultivated varieties enhances the unspoiled surroundings.
3. West Acre Gardens
Old romantics will love this walled garden in the grounds of a Norfolk manor. It’s an inspiring place to gather ideas for home, blooming with popular and more unusual shrubs, trees and grasses. Check out the Mediterranean and Shade gardens and tell the time with the garden’s sun clock using your own shadow. There’s no tea shop here, but you’re welcome to bring a picnic, with seats positioned around the gardens to provide tranquil and relaxing flower-filled views.
4. Pensthorpe Natural Park
The former home of BBC TV’s Springwatch, Pensthorpe Natural Park, near Fakenham, offers three of the county’s most spectacular gardens to view. In the Wave Garden, Chelsea Gold Medal-winning Julie Toll has created a lakeside retreat under a canopy of native oak and birch. In the Millennium Garden, plantsman Piet Oudolf reveals the colourful yet naturalistic design for which he is revered.
5. Houghton Hall
Houghton Hall, built for Britain’s first prime minister, Sir Robert Walpole, is one of the country’s finest Palladian mansions. Lord Cholmondeley has spent 15 years commissioning sculptures from artists of world renown, such as Rachel Whiteread and Anya Gallaccio. His first commission, in 2000, was ‘Skyspace’ by the American artist James Turrell.
6. Norfolk Lavender
Close to the Wash, this 100-acre plot was but a dream back in 1932, when local florist Linn Chilvers ignored the sceptics and planted his first 13,000 plants. Now this is the home of the national collection of lavenders, run in association with conservation charity Plant Heritage. The deep purple fields of the heady-scented herb are a striking sight, especially when they’re in full bloom in summer.
7. Sandringham Gardens
Discover one of the finest royal gardens in the realm at the Queen’s Sandringham Estate. Since Edward VII bought this Georgian mansion in 1862, its gardens have been added to extensively, a study in changing tastes of horticultural design during the past 150 years. There are pleached lime avenues, carrstone rockeries, romantic lakes and formal gardens to admire. For horticultural buffs, the Woodland Walk and Bog Gardens are examples of the work of Sir Eric Savill, famous for his creations at Windsor Castle in the 1960s.