​Discover the gardens at Blickling Estate

The garden comes into its own at this time of year, with an abundance of colour throughout, lasting until the end of the summer. With plenty of space to lounge in a deckchair, play garden games or explore the walled garden. Pack a picnic or grab a snack from the cafe and make the most of the summer days.

Vibrant colours in the double borders

The double borders lie along the south side of the parterre, with shades ranging from hot to cool, and they are a particular highlight at this time of year.  Beyond these beds, a white border contrasts with a dramatic black border.

The Parterre Garden at Blickling Estate, Norfolk
The Parterre Garden at Blickling Estate, Norfolk

Another contirutor to the riot of colour throughout the summer months are the penstemons. Amongst the varieties we choose are Snow Storm (white), Raven (black), Sour Grapes (purple), King George (red) and Garnet (wine) which mingle together to produca glorious display.

The penstemons sit alongside 44 varieties of annuals in the double borders.  These include Nicotiana, Verbascum, Nasturtiums, Helianthus, Calendula and Antirrhinum, as well as herbs such as Fennel, Sage and Basil.

Join a garden tour | Daily | 11:30am & 1:30pm

Learn more about the gardens at Blickling, the volunteers and staff behind them and the history of its creation.  Enjoy a walk around the walled garden and see what developments have been made.  

Don't forget to ask our knowledgable garden team for green fingered tips on your own garden. 

Discoveries to make in the garden

Secret spaces & places 

Our garden team have created two secret tunnels in the garden for families to enjoy.  Find the animals of Blickling wood inside or enjoy a game of hide and seek.  The larger tunnel has tree stump seats - perfect for a secret picnic.

The secret garden is a place for quiet contemplation or a good read. It is on the east side of the wilderness, surrounded by beech hedges. The trellis seat was probably put there for Lady Suffield by John Adey Repton.

The acre & parade

Take a stroll on the Acre, watch the birds on the lake, play a game of croquet or wander to the picnic tables on the parade where children can have fun with our giant games.

The lime trees and the turkey oak have been 'stopped' to allow them to spread. The branches of the lime trees have rooted and almost look to be individual trees. 

Parterre 

The planting of the parterre was radically simplified by Norah Lindsay for the 11th Marquess of Lothian in 1932. She retained the yew hedge topiary but replaced the intricacies of the Victorian planting with four large herbaceous plots in cool and hot colours, surrounded by beds of old roses and catmint.

You can join Norah Lindsay's tour of the garden to find out more about her work here.

Garden Designer Norah Lindsey
Garden Designer Norah Lindsay in 1890

Orangery

The site of the Orangery was chosen in 1781. In 1793 it contained 15 large, 11 young and six dwarf orange trees. Unheated today, it houses hardier citrus trees. The statue of Hercules is probably a Nicholas Stone figure and the majolica plaques, in the style of Luca della Robbia, are 19th-century.

Temple

This building is first mentioned in 1738 but it was probably built some 10 years before. In the frieze the monograms of Sir John Hobart (later 1st Earl of Buckinghamshire) alternate with the Hobart bull. The temple is built in the Doric style and dominates an imposing vista down to the house.

Wilderness

The concept of the 'wilderness' is much more structured than its name implies. It dates from the earliest Jacobean garden.During the 1987 gales many trees were lost overnight. All have now been replaced with new trees planted to fill earlier gaps.

Topiary and yew hedges

The yew hedges line the front drive leading to the house. The annual trimming begins in August with the topiary of the parterre. The great hedges are tackled next. Nowadays, the task is completed in little over a fortnight with mechanical cutters, a cherry picker and constant attention to line and form.