Garden Diary

"Secret Garden"
- Uniquely Away Summer
“Perfect in every detail”
- Leslie Geddes-Brown, Country Life
"Amongst 12 of Best Secret Gardens in the UK"
- Tania Pascoe, Guardian
"Paradise regained"
- Stephen Lacey, Beautiful Britain
"Water-encircled harmony"
- Annie Green-Armytage, Landscape
“The impressive garden of a 15th century moated house… where old meets new”
- Jackie Bennett, The English Garden
“A blossoming romance”
- Tim Longville, Period Living
"Dream gardens"
- Widget Finn, Gardens Illustrated
"Hidden and Romantic"
- Roger Last, Norfolk Gardens
"Inspirational gardens from around the world"
- Claire Takacs, Dreamscapes

5th July

The Vegetable Garden is in full swing and we are picking Peas, French beans, beetroot and courgettes. We have had very good cherries this year (from inside the fruit cage) as well as blackcurrants and gooseberries.

The Iris bed has had its day but the Catmint we cut to the ground 2 weeks ago, is recovering with lots of new growth. The Delphiniums in that bed are cut to the ground after flowering in the hopes of a second flush.

Walking into the Bog Garden you will have to push through the lovely Dierma ( Angels Fishing rods) lining that path but pause to look at the lovely Zantedeschia – both green and the usual white on the edge of the bog.

The Autumn Border is gearing up and the Persicaria that line the bank beyond are flowering.

Another place you will have to push your way through is the stream path where the Hosta and Hermerocallis (Day Lilly) hang over the path.

We are dead heading the roses furiously but the Standard rose at the front of the Hall (Awakening) flowers a little later and is now in full bloom

The lovely dark green plant at the side of the Hall is a Magnolia Grandiflora and full of  huge white flowers.

The gravel along the bottom of the West Lawn is packed with Shasta daisy, Verbena bonariensis, Larkspur, Geranium psilostemon and Californian Poppies

Don’t miss the Wild Garden, it is full of wild blue and white Geranium and where they have cross fertilised some amazing blue and white mixed flowers have resulted

Stay healthy and Good Gardening

Lynda Tucker

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28th June

Sweet peas need picking every 3 days and are going strong with a lovely scent filling the Vegetable Garden. We are harvesting Beetroot, Courgettes, Broad Beans and our wonderful Mummies Peas (ask about them!) The strawberries are coming to an end and we have removed one bed from the fruit cage but raspberries red currants and black currants are taking their place.

The yellow rose climbing through the Ginkgo tree by the Greenhouse is Mermaid.

The Daffodil area has at last had its first cut.

The Dierma (or Angels fishing rod) leading to the bog Garden are flowering and I think this variety is called Blackbird

The water iris are finished flowering and we are lifting, dividing and spreading them. The tall yellow Himalayan cowslip in the Bog Garden is Primula Florindae

Hemerocallis and Hosta lining the path by the stream are in flower. Hemorocallis flowers last just one day (another name for them is Daylily) so do dead head as you walk up the path.

The roses on the house have finished their June display and need constant dead heading in the hopes that some of them will have a second flush but the clematis are coming into their role now and taking over on the posts and walls.

Oleander are the 4 shrubs in flower in pots at the bottom of the West Lawn and they have loved this summer.

 

Stay healthy and good gardening

Lynda Tucker

 

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21st June

The herbs in the centre of the Vegetable Garden are going well and the 4 standard gooseberries are ripening. We are continuing to pick the globe artichokes and also strawberries, salad crops courgettes and broad beans. We have put squash plants underneath the sweet corn and have space for our winter brassicas, which have just been sown in the greenhouse.

In the Bog Garden the large leaves coming out of the water are from a Thalia dealbata which will produce long spires of purple flowers later in the year. On the path leading to the bog garden the Dierama ( Angels fishing rods ) are about to flower.

The rose over the metal arch is Alchemist.

The lovely little daisy covering the brick bridge in the water garden is an erigeron karvinsianusis which self -seeds along the stream.

As you approach the large stone bridge across the moat on the right next to the large copper beach tree is a Liriodendron tulipiferea -commonly known as the tulip tree. This is in flower at the moment and unless you go close you will miss the green/yellow flowers. Look also for the unusual lobed shaped leaves. It produces large quantities of nectar and is the state tree of Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee.

In the West Lawn the white rose growing through a tree -the other side of the Moat, is Wedding day which shows up beautifully particularly in the evenings, whilst the rose still giving such pleasure practically covering the bay tree is Pauls Himalayan Musk.

Stay healthy and good gardening

Lynda Tucker

 

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14th June 2020

Everything is coming to life in the vegetable garden. We are picking courgettes, spinach, beetroot, strawberries and salad crops. Horseradish is the plant with strap like leaves on the right as you enter the Vegetable Garden.

We have started cutting down the Catmint along the Iris bed. Despite being called Walkers Low it is about 3ft high. By cutting it now we will get a second flush of blooms this year.

The Daffodil area has a little longer to wait before we can cut it down but look left at the shrubbery where the plants are aubergine or yellow and almost covering the space.

The two silvery leaved plants marking the path to the bog garden are the weeping pear (Pyrus Salicisolia Pendula) The bog garden is a mass of colour and the three water Iris are in bloom- I. Laevagata Variegate, I. Gamecock and I. Pseudacorus Variegata. The long stemmed buttercup yellow flowers are Trollus Europus. The white Zantedeschia is flowering but look for the green flowered variety next to it.

The rose covering the arch is Alchemist.

The Hostas and Hemoracallis lining the path are coming in to flower.

Crossing the bridge the most beautiful Eden rose on the fourth post to the right, has suffered from last weeks rain and when dead heading it is possible to squeeze the water out like a sponge. But there are still enough coming into flower for you to be able to appreciate their beauty.

In the West Lawn look across the Moat to the Daffodil shrubbery where you will not only see the aubergine and yellow shrubs but look up and see the rose Wedding Day clambering through the tree.

The Californian poppies, Shasta daisies and Geranium growing in the gravel at the bottom of the West Lawn are a riot of colour.

The Wild Garden is a mass of white daisies and we are waiting for them to die down before that area gets its one and only cut of the Year.

Stay healthy and good gardening,
Lynda Tucker.

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7th June 2020

We are picking salad crops, potatoes, spinach and artichokes and our first strawberries and courgettes in the Vegetable Garden. With more than enough Sweet Peas and Flowers for the Hall from the Cutting Bed.

Elsewhere, the daffodils still have not completely died down and we have to wait a little longer to mow those areas.

In the Del a huge chestnut blew over in March and because of the Corona we are only now able to get people to cut it up and clear it away. But look at that massive space it has left- I think it’s what’s called a “Challenge” or “opportunity” according to your outlook!!

The water Iris are still looking good in the Bog Garden but the swans have abandoned their nest amongst them and moved with their cygnets to the Fish ponds. Possibly they think it safer there but fortunately for us it will be a while yet before the cygnets are big enough to fly away with them.

June and roses are synonymous and ours are looking so good this year benefitting from all that lovely sunshine. R. Albertine on the walls of the Hall does not repeat, but whilst it is here, it is spectacular. The lovely fragrance as you cross the bridge comes from a bed of rose de rescht but an even headier smell comes from the white jasmine on the corner of the Hall. Brutally cut down two years ago it has responded with a spectacular flourish this year.

In the Wild Garden we are very pleased to find 3 Bees Orchid (marked by bamboo canes) just beyond the Dog kennel. They are not pretty and you probably wouldn’t take much notice of them but they are orchids and they are wild so do take a look.

Stay healthy and good gardening,
Lynda Tucker.

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31st May 2020

Lots to see in the vegetable garden Spinach, Artichokes and our first new potatoes are being picked. but we have stopped picking the Asparagus.

The Cistus Monspeliensis along the greenhouse path is evergreen and the first plant came from Beth Chattos garden in 1994. The other plants are all from cuttings.

The Delphiniums are appearing above the Iris on the other side of the path and as you can see we are still waiting for the daffodils to die completely down before we mow those areas. Beware of the bees feeding on the Catmint.

The Water Iris in the Bog Garden are a sight to behold. We have the three different Iris – Laevagata Variegata, I. Yellow Gamecock and I, Pseudacorus Variegata

Beyond them we have the Swans with their four signets. Our lovely black swans we believe were killed by Otter but we are hoping that these wild swans who have chosen to nest with us will fare better. Please be aware these are wild birds and keep your distance.

The white rose growing through the Wisteria on the wall of the Hall is Rambling Rector. The rose over the front porch is Banksiae Lutea and on the wing on the left is Albertine. Pauls Himalayan Musk is running through the Bay Tree on the West lawn. The brilliant orange flowers are Californian poppies- Eschschoizia Californica, just loving growing in the gravel and this warm weather

Stay healthy and good gardening,
Lynda Tucker.

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26th May 2020

Lots to see in the vegetable garden and we are still picking Asparagus, Spinach, Artichokes and our first new potatoes.

The Cistus Monspeliensis along the greenhouse path is evergreen and the first plant came from Beth Chattos garden in 1994. The other plants are all from cuttings and we will start again replacing this hedge this Autumn.

The Delphiniums are appearing above the Iris on the other side of the path and the grass area in between is waiting for the Daffodils to die down.

As you can see we are still waiting for the daffodils to die completely down before we mow those areas.

The Iris in the Bog Garden are a sight to behold. We have the three swathes-deepest of blue and a variegated leaf and a yellow iris (but not the usual yellow flag) and one not yet in flower-Iris Laevagata Variegata, I. Yellow Gamecock and I, Pseudacorus Variegata.

Beyond them we have the Swans with their four signets. Please be aware these are wild birds and keep your distance.

The white rose growing through the Wisteria on the wall of the Hall is Rambling Rector. The rose over the front porch is Banksiae Lutea and on the wing on the left is Albertine.

The one way system operating in the Garden is for your safety. Please observe the signs and allow us all to enjoy a safe visit.

Stay healthy and good gardening,
Lynda Tucker.

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17th May 2020

Lovely warm sunny weather and the vegetable garden is coming to life. We are still picking asparagus but there is also sea kale (crambe maritma) and Spinach. Peas, Beans and Courgettes have been planted out and we are having to think about space. In the cold frame the Sweet Corn needs planting out but the lablab beans could wait another week.

Walking through the Cow Parsley in the daffodil area you must look back at the magnificent Paulownia which is in flower. Its purple foxglove like flowers which give it its name – the foxglove tree and it is a joy to behold.

The Hosta and the Hemerocallis are all in full leaf either side of the path in the water garden but it is the bright pink of the Primula Pulverulenta that catches the eye. They line the beds in the water garden loving the damp and growing to about 18 inches. There are also Primula Denticulata in various colours- they are called drumstick primula because of their round heads. The Hellibore are dying down and Solomans Seal and Acanthus have appeared.

The Cercis siliquastrum (Judas tree) to the right of the path is in flower at the moment. The clusters of bright pink pea like flowers appear before the leaves and grow along the branches. Once the heart shaped leaves appear it is possible to overlook this tree and it has to be seen in the short time it is in flower

The beds in the West Lawn are all bursting into life and I firmly believe it is dangerous to put a fork into a flower bed before May because of the possible damage to unseen and forgotten plants.

N.B Don’t miss the pretty pink Lily of the Valley hiding in the courtyard at the back of the Hall-very special and photos on our Facebook page

Stay healthy and good gardening,
Lynda Tucker

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10th May 2020

The weather has now turned and we shall be leaving young plants in the cold frame a little longer to harden them off.

The Herb garden is a mass of colour with orange marigolds doing particularly well. There are 4 different sage plants -green, variegated, purple and purple variegated and various yellow plants such as the Santolina and curry plant all about to flower and pretty blue chives.

The Iris walk now has an even stronger scent as the smaller aubergine coloured Iris are in full bloom. The bed is fronted by Catmint- Walkers Low, with its silver foliage and pretty blue flowers. So easy to grow from cuttings and after flowering it is chopped down and will put on a second show. Some of the Delphinium in that bed are in bud and lucky that we staked them when we did as we wouldn’t be able to reach them now as the Iris are so high.

Cow parsley is now waist high when walking through the daffodil area and doing a good job of concealing the dying bulbs. The noise you would hear is from the buzzing of hundreds of bees feeding on the nectar of the brightest of yellow laburnum trees.

It is time to dead head the white Camelia hiding behind the Lonicera hedge at the end of that area. It is about 3ft high and we shouldn’t really be growing it as we have the wrong soil but the watering and attention I lavished on it last summer has rewarded me with a beautiful display of white blooms. What’s that they say about forbidden fruits?

There is a very old Pink Chestnut in full flower at the moment in the Autumn border. It is about 40ft high but 6ft each side of it are two equally tall Pines which clearly have a negative influence on its development. We are in a conversation area and wouldn’t be able to touch the trees but to lessen the blow about 15yrs ago I planted a Hydrangea Petiolaris against one and have been training it round the trunk. It now reaches about 10ft and is very happy and next month will encircle the bottom of the Pine’s trunk in flowers-a little bit like a hot water cylinder jacket but oh so much prettier!

As you cross the stone bridge to the front of the Hall you will be greeted by a mass of purple with the Wisteria on the walls and the Alliums in the rose bed in front. If you look left as you cross the bridge you will see the white Swan on her nest-keeping her eggs warm on this bitterly cold day.

Stay healthy and good gardening,
Lynda Tucker.

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3rd May 2020

Although the weather has changed in Norfolk, we are getting little rain but as the water table is still high for us it is not a problem.

The Orchard is a mass of blossom – I have never seen it looking so good and as well as that it promises a good harvest,

The vegetable garden is producing artichoke, sea kale, asparagus and rhubarb and we are picking parsley, tarragon, mint, and chives. The peas are up about 2ft, broad beans are in flower and the spinach should be ready to pick next week. Strawberries are flowering and will need strawing up this week.

In the Iris bed there is a mass of white bearded Iris- which you can smell before you see, many other colours will follow and the foliage of the Delphiniums planted in this bed is rising above them and needs staking.

The Paulownia in the Daffodil area is just coming into flower with its beautiful lilac flowers that resemble freesia. We planted this 20 years ago and it reaches 15ft- we like it so much that this year we have planted another one in the Wild garden just across the Moat. 

The two Chestnuts in the pasture are a mass of blossom reaching to 40ft and must be at least a hundred years old- they never cease to delight.

The white swan is still sitting, we have seen a Mayfly this week and our lamb count is up to 30.

Stay healthy and good gardening,
Lynda Tucker.

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