Saturday, July 9

Two garden visits

About a fortnight ago we spent a couple of days in Norfolk. Martyn had spotted that the Mid Norfolk Railway were holding a gala. We decided to spend one day there and on the other day we decided to visit the National Trust Blickling Estate. Martyn posted about this visit here on his blog.
The whole estate covers 4,500 acres and so we only scratched the surface. As you would expect we explored the gardens.
Martyn spotted a little iron staircase that we just had to go down. This took us down into what would have originally been a moat.
It seemed not many people ventured down here and we had the 'moat' to ourselves. It was probably my favourite part of the garden in spite of having to negotiate several tunnels to explore fully.
Even I had to bend double to creep through some of them.

I can never resist photographing interesting trees.
We ended our visit with a walk around the lake.


Our second visit was to a garden that we know fairly well - RHS Harlow Carr. We go quite often but there is always something new to see and plenty of photo opportunities.

Including some unusual gardeners.
Like Blickling, Harlow Carr has interesting trees and a lake, albeit a much smaller one.
The difference is that at Harlow Carr as you would expect it is the garden and plants that are all important.
Everywhere are burgeoning borders of herbaceous perennials.
The banks along the stream are equally teeming with plants.
The candleabra primulas are always breathtaking but there never seems to be any for sale in the garden centre area.

Both gardens have a vegetable garden.
Blickling is developing a traditional walled kitchen garden whereas the garden at Harlow Carr is set out in sections that could be replicated in a home environment.

Two very different visits but we enjoyed both.

Another difference is that Harlow Carr have a large garden shop so we came away with four new alpine plants.
We had a couple of gaps in the pebble garden. I know four plants for two gaps, Martyn said that we would get them in somehow and guess what - we did.

and 

Just had to add that on our journey there and back we spotted two pairs of red kites high in the sky. A reintroduction success but even then believe it or not there are idiots out shooting them. I read that seven had been shot in Yorkshire in just two months - why?

20 comments:

  1. A 4500-acre back garden must require a lot of resources to maintain! Re the Red Kites: we now have them here in Fleet. They have gradually spread over most of the Home Counties area and now Hants, Berks etc. About 10 years ago we only ever saw them near High Wycombe when we travelled on the M40. Now they are everywhere, and often in big numbers. Not a good time to be a small furry creature...

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    1. Much of the estate is given over to parkland and woodland Mark. I understand that there are about 100 red kites in Yorkshire now. One group were first released from Harewood house which is very near to Harlow Carr so there are quite a lot of them in that area.

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  2. They both look like interesting places to visit. My eldest son saw a Red Kite locally quite a few weeks back. I've not spotted it but take great pleasure in watching our local buzzards x

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    1. We see buzzards in the sky above the allotments now, Jo. I noticed a pair last week . My attention was drawn to them by their cat like call which is quite unmistakable.

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  3. Both beautiful. I couldn't imagine having 4500 acres--wow! Though, I don't think I could maintain that. And good help IS so hard to find.
    Hahhahaha!

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    1. Only a fairly small proportion of it is devoted to actual garden, Sue so you could probably manage it quite easily. :-)

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  4. The visit to Blickling Estate looks lovely, and I have been to Harlow Carr a few times as it's not far from me. I will some times drive over and look through the book shop and garden centre. The walk through the woods to valley gardens in Harrogate is also worth a trip as the gardens are stunning.
    Amanda xx

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    1. We have walked in the woods on their visits but I didn't realise that you could walk all the way to Valley Garden.

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  5. Lovely pics. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. Oh, I would have loved the walk along the moat - seems they put it to very good use! I had to look up red kites as I honestly thought you were speaking about "kites" - i.e. those things made of paper & sticks that you fly - and didn't realize it was a bird. How sad.

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    1. The red kite bit must have been really confusing, Margaret. The moat created a very sheltered environment.

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  7. Blickling Estate looks very good. We visited Harlow Carr but in 1990! It is so long ago your pictures did not bring back any memories.

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    1. It changes at Harlow Carr every month, Alain so I am not surprised thar you didn't recognise it from over 20 years ago

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  8. Such a beautiful place to visit! The gardener looks a bit scary! hahahha...

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    1. The gardener didn't seem to be getting much work done, molar :-)

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  9. Both gardens are interesting Sue, I liked this moat, very pretty!
    I have not been to the Harlow Carr gardens, I'd love to visit it.

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    1. I am sure that you will get to visit it one day Nadezda.

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  10. Good evening, Sue :-) don’t know what happened with my comment last night (guessing the device I was using). I loved the building and gardens at Blickling especially the tunnels through the foliage and those magnificent trees too.

    Harlow Carr though, it’s been many years since my one and only visit – thank-you so much for sharing your visit there. I enjoyed a browse through your album last night too. We were unable to visit last year when we were down your way, what a beautiful garden it is with so many features. I guess primula sales are very popular and you must just be unlucky on your visit. Ah… but you’ve got a nice mix of alpines so not all bad then :-)

    Ah, the shooting of birds of preys – so sad and senseless especially when the Red Kite has become a success story.

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    1. It does make me angry when I read of these senseless acts of cruelty, Shirley I hope they catch whoever is responsible as it carries a six month prison sentence. Too short a time in my opinion.

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