The Walled Garden
The Walled Garden at Felbrigg Hall is widely renowned as one of East Anglia's finest.
Get up close to the double borders and herb beds and really breathe in the scent of lavender, sage and mint.
You can find a good many modern surprises within this traditionally laid out garden.
The Orangery was built in 1704 and was designed to harmonise with the west wing of the house.
In the 19th century the building was given a glass roof which by 1958 had fallen in and was replaced by the one you see today.
The Orangery now houses a collection of camellias, some of considerable size and age.
The community allotments
As part of an initiative to encourage people to grow their own food, eight community allotments were created within the Walled Garden.
The programme sparked immediate interest and continues to be a topic of conversation with our visitors.
Life in the garden
July and the garden really peaks this month – it’s just non-stop for us with endless rounds of weeding, dead heading, tidying borders, grass cutting, cropping, re-sowing and planting more vegetables for later and, just to add to the load, we have to make a start on the hedge trimming. The garden always looks so beautiful this month but we barely notice! The fruit on the trees is starting to swell and it’s impossible to walk by the strawberries without pilfering a handful!
July gardening tips
Trimming box hedges:
Always use a line and string if you want a straight line! Traditionally the advice was to wet the hedge before trimming as this was thought to reduce the appearance of scorch along newly cut hedges – it’s a myth, the appearance of scorch is caused by the healing cut edges of individual leaves on the hedge, these leaves will eventually drop off leaving a nice fresh green finish. Further, wetting the hedge before cutting will just help to spread any fungal disease spores, so it’s really not the best practice.
Old variety plants
We have some lovely old figs trained against the south facing wall of the herb border in the walled garden, thought to have been relocated to its present position around 1750. There is a quote in the “Eastern Arboretum” by James Grigor, published in 1847, which mentions the figs stating that they were about 100yrs old at the time, making the figs the only original remaining plants from the garden of that period.
We have an Umbellularia Californica, planted around 1860, which is rare in the UK. Also known as the “Headache Tree” or “Balm of Heaven”. One of our gardeners enjoys the scent released by mowing through the leaves, and following a debate amongst them as to whether the "headache" side-effect was a myth, another gardener broke off a handful of leaves, crushed them and inhaled deeply – it ruined his day! You decide which it is..
The garden pets
Ginger - named after Ginger Rogers - is a Speckled Sussex and is seen here with her chicks foraging for their lunch.
Rocky ( Rock Hudson) the Buff Orpington cockerel and some of his girls, 2 Buff hens Goldie and Doris (Goldie Hawn & Doris Day) and a Light Sussex, Honour (Honour Blackman)
The Peking Bantams, cockerel JD (James Dean) and one of his girls Marilyn enjoying themselves rootling the the flower beds.
Jake the cat is one of our semi-feral cats who, as you can see, looks happy and healthy living in the walled garden where the gardeners and the volunteers make sure they are fed and looked after
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Moments in the garden
- The Rose garden was created in 1971 in memory of the last squire by his friends and Felbrigg villagers.
- The original design was simple and effective with 4 box edged beds cut into the lawn containing various species and cultivars of roses.
- Although the layout has not changed over the years, the plants have and now we have a rose garden with no roses!
- We will completely redesign this memorial garden to reflect the rest of the gardens whilst retaining its own distinct character.
- You can see the transformation in 2014.