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Discover the garden at Blickling

The Parterre Garden viewed from the Long Gallery at Blickling Estate, Norfolk
The Parterre Garden viewed from the Long Gallery at Blickling Estate | © National Trust Images/Andrew Butler

The Blickling Estate garden has something for every season. Take a stroll to the Temple, before looking back to admire spectacular views of the house and Parterre; wander the wilderness, discover the Walled Garden or take time out by the lake.

Enjoy a stroll around the gardens as you explore the sights, sounds and smells of late spring into summer at Blickling. Here are some highlights:

May and June

These months are a time of varied colour, provided by the stunning displays of azaleas and rhododendrons that provide a dramatic walk up to the Doric Temple. Look out for the magnificent wisteria display on the East Wing and at the top of the Parterre – where for a couple of weeks in late May, the borders are filled with soft-petalled fluffy peony flowers. These pretty blooms have a short but glorious season, so enjoy them while you can.


Norah Lindsay loved roses, and each of the four beds in the Parterre is encircled with colourful scented roses, a real seasonal highlight during the summer months.

Fruit and Vegetables

The Walled Garden really comes to life over the spring and summer months. A huge range of soft fruits and vegetables can be seen growing – from rhubarb, strawberries and raspberries to onions, peas, beans and potatoes.


With their bright, bold blooms in a range of colours, sizes and shapes, dahlias light up the borders in the walled garden from August into the autumn.

Blickling Hall viewed down Temple Walk with colourful azaleas in flower in the foreground
Blickling Hall viewed down Temple Walk with azaleas in flower | © National Trust Images/Gerald Peachey

What to see in the Blickling Estate garden

The Acre and Parade

Take a stroll on the Acre and enjoy spectacular views across the lake, home to an abundance of wildlife. The lime trees and turkey oak are highlights, with twisting branches and unique character. The Parade is a perfect spot to sit and read a book or enjoy a picnic.

The Parterre

The planting of the Parterre was radically simplified in 1932 by the renowned garden designer Norah Lindsay, for the 11th Marquess of Lothian. Lindsay 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 roses and catmint.

The Temple

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

The Orangery

The site of the Orangery was chosen in 1781. By 1793, it contained large, young and dwarf orange trees, but as it's now unheated it houses much hardier citrus trees. The statue of Hercules is probably a Nicholas Stone figure, while the majolica plaques, in the style of Luca della Robbia, were crafted in the 19th century.

Topiary and yew hedges

The yew hedges line the front drive leading to the house. The annual trimming begins in August with the topiary in the Parterre, followed by the ancient yew hedges. Previously, this used to be a laborious task, but today it's completed in little over a fortnight with mechanical cutters, a cherry picker, and constant attention to line and form.


The concept of the 'wilderness' is much more structured than its name implies, and 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.

The Walled Garden

For four centuries, the Walled Garden at Blickling supplied enough produce to feed the many families that lived and worked on the 5,000-acre estate. However, with the garden falling into disrepair during the 20th century, a restoration project began in November 2014 to restore it to its former glory.

With fruit, vegetables and herbs growing in abundance, visitors can not only explore the Walled Garden in full splendour, but also enjoy eating much of its produce in the National Trust cafés - or take some home with them from our donation station at the Estate Barn.

Blickling features in Ainsley’s National Trust Cook Off!

Chef and TV favourite, Ainsley Harriott will once again be on our screens in his brand-new series; Ainsley’s National Trust Cook Off, airing on ITV1 and ITVX from Saturday 18 May. Blickling Estate's gardens will feature in three of the episodes.

Ainsley Harriott speaks to a member of staff in the outdoor kitchen at Blickling Estate
Filming Ainsley's National Trust Cook Off at Blickling Estate, Norfolk | © National Trust Images/Gerald Peachey

See Blickling Estate up close in ITV's new series, Ainsley's National Trust Cook Off, which airs from 18 May. Celebrity chef Ainsley Harriott hosts a friendly outdoor cooking competition and creates dishes using produce grown in Blickling's garden. Our staff and volunteers taste and rank each dish, and you'll also get to know the people who look after the gardens all year round.

Find out about Ainsley's new series

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