The many lives of Blickling’s walled garden

The walled garden in full bloom
Published : 13 Sep 2016

Over eighteen months, a dedicated team of staff and volunteers at Blickling have turned a neglected events field into a beautiful, productive walled garden, similar to the one that supported the Estate up to the late 1930s.

It has been an incredible feat from the team, especially as most of the first year was taken up with construction work.

" As much as it was fun doing the layout and foundations, it is great to get back to being a gardener again!"
- Mike Owers, Project Manager

A garden of stars

And what a garden it is!  Cut flowers, soft fruits, salad leaves, squashes and beans, to name but a few and all edged with over 150 fruit trees.  There are also a couple of stars in their midst;  The ‘Caroline’ dessert apple originated at Blickling and was lovingly named after Lady Suffield who lived here in the 1800s. Keeping these local varieties alive is a passionate cause for the project.

In its heyday, the walled garden was four times bigger, but by the 1950s most of the garden was put to grass and in the 1980s, it even had a spell as a garden centre!  

Now, after a lot of hard work and funding from the secondhand book and stamp shop, the garden is working as it was always meant to.

Local delivery

Since the summer it has been supplying The Stables cafe with delicious and very local produce and the house with armfuls of fragrant cut flowers.

Taste some of the walled garden produce in our pumpkin risotto
A pumpkin and tomato pearl barley risotto

So what's next?

" We really want to get children and local communities involved with the project to inspire future gardeners and conservationists and make sure the gardens are looked after for generations to come. "
- Mike Owers, Project Manager

With so much achieved in just the first two years, many visitors have already been inspired and with cause and passion at its heart, this project will surely continue to do so.

As one visitor said, "The work that has been done is absolutely brilliant.  Congratulations to all involved in this transformation, keep up the good work".