8th April 2017
The North Norfolk countryside was looking at its best as we drove to Chestnut Farm on a sunny and warm spring day. We were greeted by our hosts, John and Judy's and divided into two groups for a guided tour of this three acre garden.
John and Judy's have gardened here for 54 years and trees they planted as saplings are now stately giants. The garden is mostly informal in character, but near the house is a sunny area with paved paths and now full of tulips and other spring flowers including muscari Saffier, which John told us is sterile. Useful information if you love to grow them, but don't want them seeding everywhere. Much admired were the white and pale yellow double primroses along one of the paths.
In the woodland part of the garden many interesting shrubs have been planted enjoying the dappled shade cast by mature trees, including stachyurus salicifolius - so much more graceful than other forms of this interesting plant. A very large skimmia Kew Green had been planted some years ago, I had no idea they could grow so large, likewise Pittosporum Tom Thumb, my five year old plant is less than two foot high, at Chestnut Farm, after 35 years it is about twelve foot tall. In the understorey, many herbaceous perennials were flowering, including chrysosplenum davidiaum, saruma henri and scilla bithynica had spread and made a large, attractive patch in dappled shade.
The front lawn was dominated by a magnolia x soulangeana in full flower and a border shaded by the Chestnut trees which give the farm it's name, was filled with anemone blanda and other ephemeral spring flowers which will be strimmed to the ground when they have finished flowering.
Finally, a relaxing cup of tea and a slice of cake on the back lawn, and a closer examination of the pots and troughs of alpines and dwarf bulbs that Judy grows. On the back of the house rosa Maigold and a purple wisteria were just showing colour and will look magnificent in a week or so's time.
If you were unable to make this trip the garden will be open again on Monday, May 29th and Sunday, July the 9th, well worth a visit