After our visit to Kristopher’s we headed out towards the coast to East Ruston Old Vicarage Garden. ‘Very flat, Norfolk’, as Amanda says to Elyot in Coward’s Private Lives and beyond the city lies an area of open expanses, buffeted by gentle zephyrs from the North Sea and ideal for growing carrots. Forty years ago, Alan Gray and Graham Robeson bought the house at East Ruston and over the decades have created a garden of views and vistas, cleverly borrowing focal points from outside. Shelter belts of Monterey Pine, Italian alder and Eucalyptus have created a microclimate capable of supporting a huge variety of plants in a multitude of garden rooms.
This courtyard had recently been planted out with Aeonium which are overwintered inside.
Sculpture – one created to look like the waterspouts which occur off the coast.
The desert, carved out of the landscape with a JCB.
Two sides of the same vista.
Some rather beautiful chickens
Contrast and colour in the woodland.
Individual obelisks for growing Clematis.
What a potting shed – complete with wood burner and a collection of magnificent old tools hanging on the walls.
The views out of the garden to the lighthouse and church.
As well as using box very creatively, the team are doing trials on alternatives to box.
We met up with Chris Parsons, who had won Young Horticulturist of the Year the previous day and was there with a group from the Institute of Horticulture
For an idea of the extent of the garden have a look at the map on the website. This garden is worth a special trip and if you are anywhere South of the Humber and East of the A1, you could probably just about do it in a day. Open Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays & Bank Holidays, 1pm to 5.30pm, until Saturday 25th October.