Celebrating 70 years of Norah Lindsay

Join us in celebrating 70 years of a legacy. Norah Lindsay (1873 – 1948) was commissioned to remodel Blickling’s Parterre garden and Temple Walk during the 1930s. Visit the garden and discover the impact this remarkable designer left behind.

Remodelling Blickling's Parterre

When Phillip Kerr, 11th Marquess of Lothian inherited the Blickling Estate in 1930, he set about commissioning the remodelling of the formal garden, as not only had it previously received criticism in Country Life magazine, but it was also extremely expensive to maintain.

" ...the restlessness and confusion of the innumerable, many shaped and differently treated beds that pullulate on the lawn."
- Country Life magazine, 1925

Norah Lindsay (1873 - 1948)

Norah Lindsay had already built up quite the reputation as a talented garden designer by the time she was commissioned to remodel the Parterre and Temple Walk at Blickling. The intricate Victorian layout was replaced by four large squares and the 80 sporadic beds were reduced to a more uniform 20.

A Victorian photograph of the view across Blickling's Parterre towards the Temple.
Blickling's Parterre garden in Victorian times.
A Victorian photograph of the view across Blickling's Parterre towards the Temple.

A disciple of British horticulturalist and artist Gertrude Jekyll, Norah Lindsay was especially attentive to colour. For Blickling’s Parterre she used a graduation of colours including pink, blue, mauve and white towards the house, but a more vivid concentration of yellow and orange to the east.

The Parterre at Blickling.
The view of the Parterre garden at Blickling Estate.
The Parterre at Blickling.

In contrast to the Victorian garden palette, Norah Lindsay designed whole borders to have cool colours to form a backdrop for brighter hues. Her planting was always carefully considered with regards to the seasons and resulted in high notes at different times of the year.

On the Temple Walk, she removed the avenue of yews that rigidly guided the visitor to the Temple, to create a softer aesthetic and then planted azaleas in subtly changing colour upon the approach.  

Discover the Temple at Blickling.
Blickling's Temple is seen through the trees, surrounded by azaleas.
Discover the Temple at Blickling.


Garden tour | Daily | 11.30am & 1.30pm

Find out more about Blickling's garden and the history of its creation. Tours are available everyday*, but please check with visitor reception for availability upon arrival. 

Enjoy seeing the highlights of the Parterre, Temple Walk, dell and double borders, before being guided around the walled garden to see what new developments have been made. You might even get a taste of some of our wonderful, seasonal prodcuce.

Don't forget that whilst you're exploring independently, you can always ask our knowledgable garden team all year round, for green-fingered tips for your own garden.

*our garden tours are led by knowledgeable and experienced volunteers and are scheduled to take place twice daily. However please bear in mind that availability may vary throughout the year due to unexpected absence. Normal admission applies, National Trust members free. 

Norah Lindsay's tour | Selected dates | 11.30am

12 March, 21 March, 26 March, 9 April, 18 April, 23 April, 7 May, 16 May, 21 May, 4 June, 18 June, 27 June, 2 July, 25 July, 30 July, 13 August, 5 September, 10 September, 24 September, 3 October, 8 October

Norah Lindsay (1873 – 1948) was one of the early twentieth century’s most sought-after garden designers. Enjoy discovering her additions to the gardens that still remain today and learn more about the history of Blickling's impressive landscaping. Perfect for garden lovers.

*Normal admission applies, National Trust members free.