Garden Diary

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

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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11th April 2021

We have planted the chitted potatoes in the Vegetable Garden and the Asparagus has just started to appear. Onions have been planted and in the cold frame we are hardening off Beetroot, Peas and Broad Beans ready to plant out.

Bluebells are starting to appear in the Dell and everywhere in the garden the spring blossom is just about to burst out.

Very strong winds and freezing sleet has taken a toll on the Daffodils but they have stood up well. If you would like to remove the dead heads of the daffodils along the path (don’t venture off the path as there are still bulbs emerging) take the dead head in thumb and forefinger and pinch. This will stop the daffodil from wasting its energy into making seeds. Just drop the flower head on the ground. We still have some of the later Daffodils in bud and cowslips etc are flowering between the plants so please tread carefully.

The Bog Garden is a riot of yellow with the Caltha Palustris and Ranunculus. The white swans are nesting at the end of the bog- they are wild animals so keep your distance.

A lot of colour from the Primula in the Water Garden with different varieties still to come and some Hellibore are still in flower.

The large Clematis at the front of the Hall is Armandii and enjoy the Magnolia which is in full flower in the East lawn shrubbery.

To the east side of the Hall is a bed not often noticed but it has mainly citrus coloured plants. At the moment the orange fritillaria is in flower and behind that the yellow flowers of the Mahonia. Soon the philadelphus coronarius “aureas” will have its yellow leaves which eventually turn green. Next there is another Mahonia but this has already flowered and next to that the wonderful Euphorbia Wulfeni, grown from seed, with their striking chartreuse coloured flowerheads. Alchemilla Mollis will soon cover this bed and by then the shrubs will be green and the lovely Clematis Montana and Rose Evangeline will flower on the back wall.


Stay healthy and good gardening


Lynda Tucker

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4th April 2021

Happy Easter and Welcome back to the Gardens


In the Vegetable Garden we are picking rhubarb and have put down fleece to warm up the soil for the chitted potatoes. The sweet peas were sown last autumn and have now been planted out along their frame and supports have been put up for the beans which have been sown in the Greenhouse. New strawberry plants grown from “runners” have replaced our 4yr old plants in the fruit cage.

Dell -a huge chestnut blew down last year, we have planted Jaquemontii within the new circular bed -watch this space.

We have had a lot of rain and there is a spring by the entrance to the Fish Ponds which is very muddy . Take care

Over 38 varieties of daffodil/narcissi grow in the Daffodil area. Looking absolutely sunning at the moment. Enjoy

The Bog Garden is waking up and the bright yellow plants are Caltha Palustris and Ranunculus.

The wild white swans have chosen to stay with us again. Keep well away as they are nesting at the moment.

Enjoy our new Laurel hideaway- still work in progress.

Wonderful Primula colours along the path in the Water Garden– good Hellibore despite a lot of buds taken by the Muncjac in the winter.

As you cross the bridge look up to see the wonderful Clematis Armandii growing against the wall of the Hall

Don’t miss the Wild Garden, apart from the daffodils it has the giant snowflake- Leucojum lining the moat and there are primroses, anemone and the first fritillaria are appearing.

Stay healthy and good gardening

Lynda Tucker

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31st March 2021

Welcome back to the Gardens at Hindringham Hall

Please keep off the grass– not something we usually ask but with many bulbs still emerging keeping to the paths wherever possible would be much appreciated.

We have picked the last of our sprouting broccoli this week and are preparing the ground in the Vegetable Garden for the new crops which we start off in the Greenhouse. The Rhubarb is cropping well and we are replacing the broccoli with strawberry plants – taken as “runners” from old plants.

We had a huge chestnut blow over in the winds of 2020 and this has transformed the scene in the Dell. It’s always been a magical place -the soil was dug out to make the area between Moat and Fishponds in 1150, and I am trying to preserve its magic without resorting to replicating what was there. It now gets sunlight -which the rest of the Dell doesn’t, and I think the Jaquemontii will work well- but it will take time -so watch this space.

Medieval Fishponds- Our water table is still very high. We have laid some duckboards down but it is very wet underfoot- your choice but a lovely place to visit if you have the footwear.

Daffodils everywhere. In the gardens I have counted 38 different plants in our collection. They flower at different times and give us pleasure for about 3 months. Starting with big bold yellow and then so many variations-large cup, small cup, trumpet, single, double split corona etc etc.

Bog Area The wild swans are nesting in the old nests left by our beautiful Black Swans. These were killed by Otter and we have a video of an Otter in the gardens this year when it came to feed from the Moat. Last year white swans successfully raised their cygnets here and as wild birds hopefully have the tools to repel the Otter. Don’t get too close-and take care around them as they are super protective whilst nesting.

Primulas are providing wonderful colour in the water garden at the moment but don’t miss our new “laurel seat” accessed by steps which you pass after the Autumn border.

Clematis Armandii is the huge clematis climbing up the front of the Hall- good scent too and usually flowers for us at the beginning of April.

West Lawn is bursting into growth and the large flowering plants are Fritillaria

A good time to visit the Wild garden which is looking stunning with its daffodils, Leucojum, primroses, scilla, anemone and fritillaria. This area is cut in August but apart from that allowed to do its own thing- dampish soil and sheltered.


Keep your distances, Stay healthy and Good gardening

Lynda Tucker



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15th November 2020

What a year 2020 has been. First came the lockdown in March 2020 where everything became eerily quiet, the flowers seemed brighter and the birdsong louder. We continued to employ our gardening staff -which is as well as we were rewarded with wonderful weather and growing conditions so that when we did open the Gardens on May 27th we were ready for our visitors.

We had a one way system, asked everyone to self-distance, served refreshments – (largely outside), and had extra cleaning systems in place. I am very pleased to report that our time was wasted on recording every visitor’s telephone number as we had no Covid follow ups.

Sadly we lost our black swans to an otter last year but this year 2 mute swans arrived and laid their eggs in the nests left by the black swans. Moving between the moat and the fishponds they raised 4 cygnets and I must report they were far more hands on as parents and provided much, distanced, entertainment to our visitors.

We never know who will come and last year, as a result of one of our visitors, in December we had a visit from the Bryological Society who are moss and liver wort enthusiasts. This year another enthusiast reported on the Dragon fly and Damsel fly in the garden and we were able to add them to the list of birds that visitors spot in the garden which we keep in the Coffee Shop. We were particularly entertained by the spotted fly catcher   raising its brood above the visitors’ lavatory door and we always anxiously await the arrival of the House Martins.


The West Lawn at Hindringham Hall, Norfolk

We opened for the NGS on September 30th and raised £850 for their causes. Parishioners provided the refreshments in aid of Hindringham Church. Next year we open for the NGS on Saturday 20th February and are calling the day “warts and all” as it should be a chance to see the bones of the garden and a look behind the scenes.

Our most exciting event was of course being in the last 8 shortlisted for the Historic house Garden of the Year Award. Apart from England the other gardens were from the Welsh Marshes, County Down and the Scottish Borders.  Our congratulations go to the winners Mapperton House in Devon owned by the Earl and Countess Sandwich. We finished third which is pretty astounding as we got more votes than other gardens with 5 gardening staff and open daily! And …….only 100 votes short of last years’ winners!!

Here’s a breakdown of the final scores:


Votes Your Choice for Garden of the Year 2020
2647 Mapperton House
2209 Wollerton Old Hall Garden
1827 Hindringham Hall
1814 Arley Hall
1510 Painshill
746 Montalto Estate
488 Hergest Croft Gardens
144 Carolside Gardens


A very big thank you to everyone who voted for us.

672 people took the trouble to write enthusiastically why they chose our garden and one of my favourites is “its charm and the fact its maintained by one little old lady and a helper”-presumably I am the little old lady but I do have a gardener 4 days a week and another 4 mornings. But when you cut through the very flattering comments surely the best in these troubled times was, “it is so special it just makes you really happy too”

Stay healthy and good gardening

Lynda Tucker

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