From a Norfolk garden


We’re spending a few days at my mother-in-law’s place in Norfolk. Unfortunately I’ve had some work to do – a downside of being freelance is that work is sporadic and often last-minute and Needed Back Urgently, which means I often end up working when I’d rather not be. I did manage a walk with the dog this morning, however, and a wander around the garden with my camera, so it’s not all bad. Oh, and I did spend 20 minutes lying in a hammock watching a large flock of swifts wheeling and scything through the sky. (It’s important to have regular breaks.) Plus I’m not having to think about meals and cook, which is a real treat!

There’s a fine patch of Echinops (globe thistle) by the front drive which is buzzing with bees.


My mother-in-law is an intuitive gardener and her garden gives her (and others) much pleasure. Since moving to this house in 2002, she has turned what was essentially a building site rather than a garden into a generous cornucopia of planting and has filled very nook and cranny with greenery.

Any idea what this is? The delicate flowers are that lilac-y colour that glows at dusk and the seedpods are silvery with a beautiful teardrop shape (although most of them have been snipped off in this photo).
A blooming hydrangea making a bold statement – love or hate (I am ambivalent) these blowsy plants, they do have impact.
A blooming hydrangea making a bold statement. I am ambivalent about them in the garden but love them as a cut flower. Love them or hate them, these blowsy plants do have impact.
Another mystery plant (although, is it a Veronica?)
This white Veronica (not sure of the variety) has a lovely, upright habit and forms a neat clump.
This acer outgrew its original home (a pot) and was planted here to provide a focal point. I think it works very well and seems happy here.
This little acer outgrew its original home (a pot) and was planted here to provide a focal point through the archway at the bottom of the garden. There’s a handily placed swing seat for you to sit and admire it.


I do like nasturtiums. They're very easy to grow, undemanding plants with beautiful, jewel-like coloured flowers and you can eat them. What's not to love!
I do like nasturtiums. They’re so easy to grow and are undemanding plants with beautiful, jewel-like flowers, and you can eat them. What’s not to love. This one is growing in a pot with a fuchsia and provides a vibrant burst of colour.
photo 3
A potted calla lily looking gorgeous in the late afternoon sunshine.

She loves her plants and experiments with propagation (which often involves chopping a plant in half and sticking bits here and there to see what works best). Whenever she comes to visit, she’ll bring a piece of this or that, or a clump of something that might be useful/ interesting to us. This time, we’ll be going home with a few paper bags containing various lupin seed heads to give them a go next year, although I suspect our snail population will be the main beneficiaries.

The end of the garden opens onto a field and is framed by a wrought-iron gate, grasses and Acanthus spinosus (bear's breeches).
The end of the garden opens onto a field and is framed by a wrought-iron gate, grasses and Acanthus spinosus (bear’s breeches).
The view through the gate after the field had been cut earlier today.
The view through the gate this evening after the field had been cut earlier.


24 thoughts on “From a Norfolk garden

  1. A beautiful garden in a beautiful part of the UK, it seems. I was just thinking about planting some Echinops in a corner of my Sidewalk Border where I’m having a bit of trouble. I don’t grow any of it now.


  2. I know exactly what you mean about food and menu planning. I was thinking that apart from a week on Corsica and a handful of skiing/snowboarding weeks all of our holidays with the children have been in self-catering cottages. No, I’m not really a martyr! We used to share the cooking and always chose a house with a dishwasher. Your mother-in-law’s garden looks beautifully relaxed, how lovely to spend time there with a fellow enthusiast!


    1. I secretly long for a holiday in a hotel where I can swim, read, sleep and not do any looking after anyone but I’m sure the reality would be a bit dull and not nearly as luxurious as I imagine! I’d give it a go for a few days…


  3. What a gorgeous garden, how lovely to be able to spend time there. I love all these plants, but this year I’m having a particular love affair with hollyhocks and hydrangeas (especially white, green ,and deep coloured ones).
    Am finding lots of inspiration for my own new plantings to come in the autumn!
    Swinging in a hammock here – heaven!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a restful space that looks to be. I do hope you can manage some more hammock time before you have to leave.

    I know what you mean about the delights of handing over the ‘what’s for dinner’ problem to someone else, sadly it’s a distant memory for me as the Aged Ps are rather beyond solving that one for themselves let alone for visitors.


    1. Thank you Annie. I did 🙂
      I think our visits are quite tiring for her, and we try to help, but she does love looking after people. It is hard when parents can no longer care for themselves. Mine are nearby and I hope to be able to help when the time comes.


  5. I do love your mother’s gardening style – the whole garden speaks of attention and delight in planting. Please tell her that these pictures have inspired me and I will definitely be planting an Acanthus although sadly mine will not frame such a delicious view.


  6. What a beautiful garden, and in such a glorious setting too. I think I agree with you about cut hydrangeas being better than on the bush…but then I do love how jolly and colourful they look when they are in full bloom. x


  7. What a glorious garden, she has worked hard. I love the bottom of the garden, viewed through the arch, and the view across the field is beautiful. What a wonderful place to spend some time. CJ xx


  8. Your mother’s garden has given me two reminders – acers and hydrangeas – of plants I’d like in our newly exposed front garden. I love her gate and what a magical view beyond. Our hammock was no match for the teenagers who thought they’d all like to pile on together one summer. I have just acquired an outdoor egg shaped swingseat but the weather is not conducive to sitting out there today.


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