East Ruston, The Old Vicarage Garden

The Old Vicarage Garden in East Ruston, Norfolk, is a remarkable and amazing achievement. I visited on a hot day and in the smaller courtyards, surrounded by hedges and high trees it felt like the tropics! The gardens are only open from 2.00-5.30 and you need all that time to really enjoy the plantings and understand the garden. And a tea house will provide a half-time break.

The gardens cover c.32 acres and were established about twenty years ago. The first action taken by the owners was to plant trees around the property, providing protection from the sea winds and creating the micro-climate so obvious on my visit.

The fuchsias were beautiful, planted in over-size containers and many years old. The container plantings reminded me of the importance of scale – to make an impact, even in a small garden, you need to plant big! I have no idea how to identify the varieties but will try with the help of this site.

Fuchsia
Fuchsia ?
Fuchsia
Fuchsia ?
Fuchsia
Fuchsia ?
Fuchsia
Fuchsia ?

There were many vistas and views and I could do a whole post – but I need more photographs!

Looking down the Kings Walk towards the house
Looking down the Kings Walk towards the house
The lavender walk - with a bit of Carolyn!
The Apple Walk – with a bit of Carolyn!
From one room to another
From one room to another
East Ruston Church in the distance
East Ruston Church in the distance

And plants which were beautiful on the day –

Clematis
Clematis ?
Waterlilies in the Exotic Garden
Waterlilies in the Exotic Garden
The Rose Garden
The Rose Garden
Rose
Rose ?
Astilbe ? with Allium seed heads
Astilbe ? with Allium seed heads

Angel's Fishing Rod

Angel’s Fishing Rod – Dierama

And plants which I have never seen before –

New Zealand?
From New Zealand?
From New Zealand?
From New Zealand?

I took away an idea for planting my patio in London – I need to think of BIG containers, and I need to grow standard and bush fuchsias.

A small terrace over three seasons

The back ‘garden’ in 2010 –

The back garden in 2010
Uneven paving and rough grass in 2010

Starting the hard landscaping –

The back garden in February 2011
The back garden in February 2011

Taking shape –

The back garden in March 2011
The back garden in March 2011

One year later –

The back garden in May 2012
The back garden in May 2012
After rain in high summer, 2012
After rain in high summer, 2012

All the plants are behind this year, and the hydrangea has not flourished, but I love the change. The anenomes are all staked and won’t be falling over this year, and the rose is starting to grow well.

The back garden in July 2013
The back garden in July 2013

The garden in May

Oh dear! It seems we will have another difficult year in the garden. One warm weekend and now it is cold, wet, and windy again. The plants are struggling on, and some even seem to be thriving.

Geraniium Phaeum 'Samobor'
Geranium Phaeum ‘Samobor’
Nepeta Mussinii
Nepeta Mussinii
Rosa 'Canary Bird'
Rosa ‘Canary Bird’
Erysimum 'EA Bowles' - always in flower; an absolute delight!
Erysimum ‘EA Bowles’ – always in flower; an absolute delight!
Brunnera 'Jack Frost' in full bloom, before transforming itself into a mass of large, silvery leaves - gorgeous
Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’ in full bloom, before transforming itself into a mass of large, silvery leaves – gorgeous
Hellebore 'Argutifolius'
Hellebore ‘Argutifolius’

Bradshaw’s Illustrated Hand Book to London 1862

I am starting a new adventure, accompanied by Mr George Bradshaw – I am going to explore London (‘and its environs’). Have you seen Michael Portillo’s railway journeys on television, in which he travelled in the UK and Europe, Bradshaw in hand? Well, the same Bradshaw also wrote a guide to London and I will be following his tour from Thursday 24 January 2013, snow permitting. I have a new blog which will document my discoveries, londondiaryblog.wordpress.com/about/, and I hope that you will join me each week.

Bradshaw

Descending into winter

The mist is low this morning; a heavy, cold, dampness that wants to sink into my bones. It is silent, with only the occasional brave bird somewhere out in the greyness.

Late autumn colours

This time last year I was getting ready to return to South Africa; now it is five and a half months since my mother died. I need to talk to her this morning. And I long to be with my friend BER. I am suddenly overcome with fear that I will never see him again in this life – one day there will be a phonecall, or worse still an email telling me he has gone, and I will only have the sound of his voice in my head.

The garden falling asleep