Garden Diary

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

29th July 2020


The vegetable garden is in full swing and we are picking Rocket, Broad Beans. French Beans, Peas, Beetroot, Carrots, Potatoes, kale, Courgettes and Chard. The sweet Peas need to be picked twice a week and we are picking blackcurrants and Jostaberries. Our raspberries are autumn fruiting so they are still to come

The path along the Iris bed has buddlea planted on the banks on the left and blue chicory- Cichorium Pumilum, on the right. Research is ongoing as the blue chicory is believed to have cancer healing properties.

The Daffodils have at last all been cut down and will be fed in the autumn.

The path to the Bog Garden is edged with Dierma “Blackbird”- easily grown from seed and so pretty against the silvery foliage of the weeping pear- Pyrus Salicifolia.

You need to force your way along the path beside the stream as the Allium and Hemerocallis are in full cry.

In the West Lawn Crocosmia Lucifer will immediately catch your eye with its bright red flowers. But Allium Sphaaerocephalons dark red flower heads echo the geranium in the urns and behind it are the lovely white poppy-like flowers of Romneya

The tubs have Oleander which need to be taken inside for winter protection.

The eye-catching clematis on the posts going round the Hall Is Princess Diana.


Stay healthy and good gardening

Lynda Tucker

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4th July 2021

The Vegetable Garden is gearing up and we are picking peas, broad beans, kale, beetroot. potatoes and rocket.  The sweet peas need picking twice a week and the red rose on the pergola is American Pillar

The rose growing on the wall along the path going up to the Potting shed is Phyllis Bide – a heritage rose variety.

The Catmint at the front of the Iris bed is still full of bees but we are starting to cut it down along with the Iris- we can then see the Delphiniums and the Iris rhizomes will get the sun.

We have two roses growing through the Ginkgo trees- Keith Maughan and the yellow rose Mermaid

The recent rain has delayed the cutting of the Daffodil areas but this is hidden from the West Lawn by the shrubbery of mainly aubergine and yellow plants. Water levels are still high in the bog garden, some iris are still in flower and look out for the green zantedeschia amongst the white lining the bog edge. The tall yellow primroses are primula Florindae.

Hemerocallis and Hosta line the path in the stream garden and as you cross the bridge the rose in front on the Hall walls is Albertine- an old rose that sadly doesn’t repeat flower. Enjoy it whilst you can. On the wall on your left is Penny Lane which is a very pretty modern repeat flowering rose.

As you walk through the gateway into the West Lawn look forward across the moat where you will see the r. Wedding Day climbing through the maple tree- what a sight!

On the Pergolas the roses are mainly planted with clematis as this extends their season of interest

The swans have returned from the Fishponds to the moat but sadly they have lost one. They are wild birds and the parents are very protective so admire but keep your distance

Stay healthy and good gardening

Lynda Tucker

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27th June 2021

The Vegetable Garden is producing Broad Beans, Rocket, Beetroot, Potatoes, Rhubarb and Peas. The Cutting Garden is producing well as is the central Herb Garden and Sweet Peas.

The roses climbing up the two Ginkgo Trees outside the Greenhouse are Mermaid and Keith Maughan.

We are waiting for the bees to finish with the catmint before we can cut it down to reveal the Delphinium and tie back the Cichorrum Pumilum (blue chicory) at the back of the border

The Dell is work in progress as we redesign the space where a huge chestnut tree fell.

The last of the Daffodil areas are waiting to be cut down- the heavy rain has kept the foliage going longer than usual. The shrubbery with its aubergine and yellow theme is performing well and screening this dying area from the West lawn.

The Bog Garden has the lovely Iris Black Gamecock in flower and the white Zantedeschia line the edge.

Hemerocallis and Hosta line the stream garden path

The lovely pinkish rose on the front of the Hall and growing on the West wall is Albertine -an old fashioned rambling rose (1921) which is not repeat flowering so enjoy its lovely flowers while you can. Rose de Rescht is in the bed in front.

The Pergolas are full of roses but when you go into the West Lawn look across the moat at the lovely white rose Wedding Day growing up through a tree in the daffodil shrubbery.

Masses of colour in the West Lawn- a complete contrast to the Wild Garden which has been completely taken over by Ox eye daisies. Once they finish flowering the Wild garden will receive it’s only cut of the Year.

Stay healthy and good gardening

Lynda Tucker

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30th May 2021

Vegetable Garden- the warm weather is at last getting the vegetables to grow. Asparagus is going strong and we are eating the thinned out radishes.  Note the onions have been interplanted with beetroot which will be pulled up before the onions need that space. The strawberry plants are all last years runners and we are not allowing them to waste their energy flowering this year

In the Herb Garden -the Artichokes are growing strongly and the standards in the central beds are gooseberries and the silver milk churns have pots of tomatoes in them.

At last we are able to move plants out of the Greenhouse ready for our indoor tomato plants

The long Iris bed is now changing from predominantly white to blue and the Delphiniums in that bed are in bud and ready to flower.

Daffodil areas are now taken over by Cow parsley whilst we wait for the foliage to die down.

There is a very high water level in the Bog garden where the water Iris are in bud.

Pink is the dominant colour in the water garden with the lovely Primula on show and Hosta and Hemerocallis line the path beside the Moat.

It’s allium time at the front of the Hall where they were planted to replace the 150 tulips precision dug by squirrel in the very cold winter 3 years ago. They have done rather too well and will require thinning it after flowering.

Please take care on the gravel beside the Moat in the West Lawn- there are a lot of tender plants just emerging

All present and correct for the Swans and their cygnets which have moved to the Fishponds.

We have House Martins nesting at the front and back of the Hall and look out for the great spotted wood peckers nest in the dead white tree stump in the Dell


Stay healthy and good gardening

Lynda Tucker

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Vegetable Garden- you might notice the Broad Beans. Some were sown early in the Greenhouse and when planted out seeds sown between them. This has saved greenhouse space but should prolong the growing season.

Always short of space we have interplanted the onions with beetroot. The beetroot will be picked earlier giving the onions room to expand.

White Iris are taking over from the purple in the long bed beyond the greenhouse-they have a lovely scent and soon the multi coloured Dutch Iris will be in flower

The large chestnuts are in flower in the Dell surrounded by bluebells and the newly planted rhododendron are looking happy and turning from pink to white

The Wisteria is fully in flower on the front of the Hall

West lawn-if you look across the moat our earliest rose, Canary Bird, is at last in flower. That shrubbery has been planted with yellow and aubergine coloured shrubs which are now coming into leaf.

The Fly Catchers have been spotted in the garden again and the Swans- complete with 8 cygnets, have deserted their nest on the moat and now reside in the Fish Ponds.

Don’t miss the Orchard by the Coffee Shop – the white tulips are White Triumphator. We had also planted white Camassia but they were all chopped by the Muntjac- they caused a lot of damage in the garden last winter.


Stay healthy and good gardening

Lynda Tucker

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16th May 2021

The Vegetable Garden is coming to life – potatoes are pushing up, the asparagus is growing well and we have started planting out our greenhouse grown vegetables.

We are trying something new this year- alternatively planting a greenhouse grown plant with a seed. Notice the Broad Beans where you will see the seeds just emerging between larger plants and hopefully will crop later than the first planting and extend our picking.

In the Cutting garden the tall apricot flowered plant is Scrophiularia Sambicifollia- pretty but a bad scent.

The Dell is a mass of bluebells and we have the lovely large central area where a huge chestnut blew down 2 years ago- a peaceful place to be.?

Some Daffodils are still flowering and the trees in flower in that area are Crab Apples.

In the Bog Garden the wild swans have hatched 7 cygnets- please take great care and view them from afar as they are only a few days old- but what attentive parents.

The lovely pink Candelabra Primula pulverulenta seeds very freely and its bright carmine flowers make an eye catching display. It likes damp conditions.

Bluebells are having a wonderful year but are filling our flower beds. We will wait until they finish flowering then move them back to the Dell where they belong.

West Lawn- looking across the Moat – The rose Canary Bird is in flower. This is our earliest rose and this year is flowering  later than usual


Stay healthy and good gardening3

Lynda Tucker

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9th May 2021

Vegetable Garden. We are picking Asparagus, Rhubarb and Sea kale. Other vegetables are hardening off but the weather has been too cold to plant them out. We have started to earth up our potatoes.  This week we hope to be able to remove the frame that has been protecting the Peach on the back wall. In the Cutting Garden in front, the tall apricot flowered plant is Scrophiularia sambicifollia- very pretty but don’t be deceived -it has a nasty smell.

The Iris in the Long Border are beginning to flower. Mauve are the earliest then white seem to take over the whole bed before the more desirable colours appear. Delphiniums have been interplanted and will take over from the Iris

Blue, white and pink bells are covering the Dell and I am pleased that the Cow Parsley is growing well. We have encouraged this and it should cover the dying bulbs.

The Wild swans are still sitting so please don’t get too close.

We have had a Honey Fungus problem in the Water Garden– in the bed by the little gate to the drive. We have dug out infected plants, put in metal barriers, replaced the soil and replanted. The red tulip in flower is Peter de Leur and the Ajuga is waking up and should soon cover the soil under the fungus resistant shrubs.

At the front of the Hall the Wisteria is bursting into life-lots of flower as a result of winter pruning. Look back to see the tulips and don’t miss the dwarf iris in the bed on your right.

The Wild Garden seems to have more bluebells this year. The Quince is in bud but the large old Mulberry is waiting for the weather to warm up

Stay healthy and good gardening

Lynda Tucker

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2nd May

The exceptionally cold, dry April with bad frosts has meant we are behind in the Vegetable Garden. Peas, sweet peas, broad beans and kale have gone out and we have made the first salad sowings. Asparagus is cropping but needs a little more sun and moisture to flourish. The fruit tree blossom appears not to have suffered and we will soon take that large cover off the peach against the North Wall.

The Greenhouse is bursting with plants ready to go into pots outside but we cannot put them out until all risk of frost has gone

The blue, white and pink bells are flowering in the Dell and we have encouraged the Cow parsley to cover dying spring bulbs. Chamomile has been sown in the centre.

With 48 varieties of Daffodil there are some still in flower and do be tempted to dead head as you walk through.

The Bog Garden is awash with Caltha Palustris and its bright yellow flowers almost hide the nesting white swan. The eggs are almost ready to hatch so please try not to disturb them.

On the arch leading into the bog there is the lovely Akebia Quinata or chocolate vine with its pretty delicate flowers-worth looking for

Infront of the Hall the white shrub is Spiraea Bridal Wreath and is all that remains of what must once have been a wide flower bed.

In the Courtyard at the back of the Hall is tulip Ballade with pink lily of the valley and the rose Zepherine Drouhin.

Lots of apple blossom in the orchard beside the Coffee Shop. The tulip is White Triumphator but the white Camassia don’t seem to have done so well. The leaves of the plants have been uniformly cut- my husband insists it was the Muntjjac and not his lawnmower!


Stay healthy and good gardening

Lynda Tucker

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25th April 2021

The Vegetable Garden is filling up and we are picking Asparagus Rhubarb and Sea Kale

The pretty tree in flower beyond the greenhouse is Cheals Weeping Cherry (kiku-shidare-zakura)I which is an ornamental cherry whose weeping branches are covered in double pink blooms.

The bare centre in the Dell been planted with Chamomile and we have used bark chip to prevent weeds in the outer circle where we will plant in the Autumn. It seems like a good year for Bluebells which are now flowering- not only in the Dell, but in flower beds as well!

There is still quite a lot to see in the Daffodil area. We have 48 varieties of daffodils and they flower from February to May and there are some varieties still to flower.

In the Water Garden the pretty little yellow moisture loving plants are Erythronium Pagoda and the Drumstick Primula are flowering in shades of lilac magenta and mauve.

Along the path beside the Moat the Hosta are just peeping up and on the other side are the Hemerocallis.

On your left you will see the wild white swan incubating her eggs – please try not to disturb her

At the front of the Hall the wisteria is just about to flower and the Allium are ready to flower. This rose bed had been planted with tulips but about 2 years ago, in the winter, a squirrel precision drilled down and removed all 120. Squirrels don’t like alliums but the alliums have almost taken over this bed so after flowering they will be dug up and some removed

In the Wild Garden our native daffodils have been flowering since mid-march and they have now finished, but the fritillaria, anemone and primrose are in flower.

In the East facing courtyard the lovely tulip Ballade is in flower and the Paeonia and lily of the Valley are just appearing. Honeysuckle, Clematis and the rose Zepherin Drouhin are planted on the wall behind. So far Ballade has escaped the attention of wildlife.


Stay healthy and Good gardening        Lynda Tucker

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18th April 2021

The vegetable garden is gearing up for its busy time. Sweet Peas were planted in the Greenhouse in October and have now been planted out onto their frame.

Broad Beans were sown in the Greenhouse and have been planted out. This year we have made a second planting of seeds amongst the Beans to get a second later crop- something we haven’t tried before so fingers crossed.

Our onions have been planted -again sown in the greenhouse, and we have interplanted them with beetroot as we are always short of space.

The weather has been very cold and is holding back the Asparagus but we hope to start picking this week.

The Iris bed is interplanted with Delphiniums and has a Catmint front border. The Iris have started to shoot up and we need to finish staking the Delphiniums whilst we can still reach them without damaging the Iris.

The Dell lost a large chestnut tree a year ago and has created this bare central space. Snowdrops and cyclamen flower here and the blue/white/pink bells are just starting to take over.

The daffodils are continuing to give pleasure and there are still some yet to flower. Look for the Cowslips amongst them.

Be careful around the swans in the Bog garden. They are wild and nesting and can be aggressive.

The “laurel walk” just beyond the Autumn Border- it is still work in progress but will become a nice sheltered evergreen spot to escape to.

Do not miss the Wild Garden- daffodils and the giant snowflake are going over but primroses and blue anemones are appearing- and look out for the beautiful snakes head fritillaria- I haven’t seen the white yet -but they are there.


Stay healthy and good gardening

Lynda Tucker

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