Recently we had a short holiday in Suffolk which enabled us to visit two gardens that we had not visited before. In some ways September is not an ideal time for visiting gardens as the summer season is largely over and winter gardens are not yet in their element. However the good news is that it does mean the gardens are not so crowded.
Anglesey Abbey Gardens
Anglesey Abbey is a Jacobean-style house with gardens and a working watermill. The original priory was build around 1100 by a community of Augustinian canons. The canons were expelled in 1535 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries and in 1600 the priory was converted to a private house. In 1926, Anglesey Abbey was bought by an American, Huttleston Broughton, later Lord Fairhaven, and his brother Henry. The 1st Lord Fairhaven fully restored the house which had fallen into disrepair and began to collect beautiful furniture, artworks and statuary.
One of the great achievements of the 1st Lord Fairhaven was the establishment of the garden at the house. Wanting to inspire and surprise visitors, he created a spectacular garden (114 acres) with planting for all seasons and a cosy house in which to entertain. Life revolved around horse racing and shooting, and guests enjoyed 1930s luxury.
In 1964 Lanning Roper wrote a book entitled “The Gardens of Anglesey Abbey”, in which he described the careful planning of this remarkable garden with its many vistas, avenues, rare and common trees, pools, statues and river temples. He describes the way in which huge areas of sky and mown grass were used to balance symmetrical planting and how Lord Fairhaven used the trees and shrubs to make groups of contrasting colour and foliage. Much of the original planting exists today.
In many ways the designs in the garden relate to the 18th century landscapes of avenues and rides dividing the landscape and these can be seen in the above schematic map.
One of the most popular features of the garden is the “winter garden” with textures and colours that are striking in the winter.The “winter garden” lies along the serpentine path to the right of the map.We were lucky to get the cyclamens at their best, extensively planted under the trees.
The dahlia garden is an area devoted to dahlias. Regrettably there was only limited labeling of the plants. The main herbaceous border consists of a large semi circular lawn surrounded by borders. Not looking too bad this late in the season.A nice solution to naming with planting plans and names for each part of the border.A part of a large rose garden with many plants still flowering well.The avenues of trees were spectacular with suitable sculptures at key points.
In the inter war years many of England’s great country houses were in dire economic state, and were forced to sell some or all of their collections including sculpture. In Lord Fairhaven they found a rich and eager buyer and he amassed a large collection of garden sculpture.The house and gardens are now maintained by the National Trust and more information and visiting times can be found here.
Helmingham Hall Gardens
At first glance Helmingham Hall looks like something out of a Disney movie. One of the most beautiful country estates in England, Helmingham Hall is the much-loved home of the Tollemache family for the past 800 years. The moated hall can trace its origin back to 1480.
The 400 acres of parkland is home to venerable oak trees and herds of both Red and Fallow deer.One of the obvious interesting features is that there is a moat around the walled garden as well as the house. It is thought that the gardens are of Saxon origin designed to protect stock from marauders but over the centuries has developed into one of the finest gardens in England and is Grade 1 Listed.The classic parterre flanked by hybrid musk roses lies between the house and the kitchen garden.
The kitchen garden now include many herbaceous borders with two significant borders that divide the kitchen garden into quadrants.
In addition there are other paths which cut across the kitchen gardens. Here they have used sunflowers, runner beans and gourds to line these paths.. Adjacent to the walls within the kitchen garden are a number of trial beds with boards giving plant details. Also some fantastic yew buttresses between these beds.As well as the planting within the kitchen garden the wall is planted on the outside with flower borders and fruit trees.And inside some step over apples with far too many apples!The kitchen garden across the moat which surrounds it.A classic view across open parkland with trees that have been “pruned” by animals eating the lower branches to a common height.On the other side of the house is a knot garden.Looking back to the house from the knot garden. More information on Helmingham Hall Gardens
Glebe House Garden
A combination of holidays, weddings, producing a charity event and rain have resulted in little activity in the garden. There is much to do so I hope the rest of September developed into an Indian Summer. I cannot believe that the end of this week is time for another EoMV.
|2017 Gardening Hours|
|Week beginning September 16th||Total 2017 to-date||Average per week|