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
The Walled garden
At the moment it's a constant round of weeding, staking, dead heading and refreshing the planting throughout the borders. This week we will be working in the double borders; clearing up all the Colchicum foliage, and removing the Californian poppies which are well past their best now. We’re replanting with a variety called ‘jelly beans’ which we’ve grown from seed. There’s so much, dead heading and weeding to do it’ll take us well into next week to finish working through the borders - they are so big!
The vegetable gardenEverything is finally growing on the veg plots! There’s lots of things being cropped and replanted, the spring cabbage have all nearly finished, and we’ve re-sown with beetroot and some spring onions. The Sweet Williams are coming out before they set too much seed and we are planting out leeks, Florence fennel and sowing some late parsnips in those spaces. Beetroot is being cropped along with courgettes, dwarf French beans and loads of lovely, curly kale. Mark is working through the herb border, cutting back, dead heading, weeding and pruning as he goes.
This exotic, succulent aloe in full flower looks like it shouldn’t be hardy but it has survived temps of below -10!
These waxy flowers may look insignificant but they are responsible for the gorgeous, sweet scent through the central and kitchen garden areas in the early summer. This evergreen climber also has amazing large fruits later in the year which is why it’s also known as the ‘sausage vine’!
Olives in the garden?
Yes Olea europaea is surprisingly hardy, in the very cold winter of a few years ago, we had thick snow on the ground from the beginning of November till Christmas, temperatures fell to -14 in the walled garden. All of our olive trees survived with one exception, it wasn’t the cold that killed the tree but the weight of the snow! It was our biggest tree located in the kitchen garden, the crown was so thick the snow piled on top of it pulling the tree over until it snapped off clean at the soil line.
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
Silver Laced Wyandottes
Meet our 3 latest residents the Silver Laced Wyandottes.
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 have completely redesigned this memorial garden to reflect the rest of the gardens whilst retaining its own distinct character.
- You will see this garden on your way to the front door when you visit the house.
- Now in its second year, maintenance is all about weeding, dead heading the roses and sweeping the gravel off the paths!