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Luxury secret gardens open to the public in Norfolk this summer

PUBLISHED: 14:33 13 April 2017 | UPDATED: 16:42 13 April 2017

A sea of colour on display in The Water Gardens at Stody Lodge. Picture: Ian Burt

A sea of colour on display in The Water Gardens at Stody Lodge. Picture: Ian Burt

Dates to get in your diary if you don’t want to miss out on splendid leafy havens.

The gardens at Lexham Hall are in full bloom. Pictured is Anthea Foster. Picture: Ian Burt The gardens at Lexham Hall are in full bloom. Pictured is Anthea Foster. Picture: Ian Burt

This week is National Gardening Week so to celebrate we’ve gone in search of secret gardens - private ones that are normally hidden from prying eyes. We discovered that this year The National Open Garden Scheme has more than 50 private green spaces opening up to the public, making it just as perfect for the curious among us as the green fingered.

As Frances Hodgson Burnett wrote, “If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.

She was right, we’ve barely made a dent with our list below.

Desert World Gardens, Santon Downham.

Succulents, sempervivums and plectranthus... no it’s not a complicated science lesson, it’s a garden full of desert inspired flora.

Open: Sunday 16 April, Monday 17 April, Sunday 2 July.

Admission: £3.50, children free.

The gardens at Lexham Hall are in full bloom. Picture: Ian Burt The gardens at Lexham Hall are in full bloom. Picture: Ian Burt

Wretham Lodge, East Wretham.

From wild flower meadows to a walled garden, drink in blankets of tulips, daffodils and bluebells in this pretty as a picture outside exterior.

Open: Sunday 16 April, Monday 17 April.

Admission: £4, children free.

View of the garden at Lake House in Brundall. Picture: James Bass
. View of the garden at Lake House in Brundall. Picture: James Bass .

East Ruston Old Vicarage, East Ruston.

Described as an ‘exotic coastal garden’ you can lose yourself in 32 acres filled with unusual plants and vegetable patches, plus a topiary and some water features.

Open: Saturday 22 April, Saturday 7 October.

Admission: £8.50, child £1.00

The Old House, Ranworth.

Walled gardens line up next to Ranworth inner broad with equally eye-catching views, making a walk around this ornamental garden even better.

Open: Sunday 23 April.

Admission: £5, children free.

Cherry Blossom out in the Spring sunshine in the garden of the Old House at Ranworth. 
<Picture: James Bass> Cherry Blossom out in the Spring sunshine in the garden of the Old House at Ranworth.

Plovers Hill, Strumpshaw.

This garden boasts huge mulberry, liquidambar and Japanese bitter orange trees. If that wasn’t enough there’s also a kitchen garden with orchard and fruits to enjoy.

Open: Sunday 30 April, Monday 1 May.

Admission: Combined admission with Lake House £7, children free.

Witton Hall, North Walsham.

With natural woodland paths to get lost in among bluebells and azaleas, enjoy views across the farmland from which you can just make out the sea in the distance.

Open: Monday 1 May.

Admission: £3, children free.

The Bishop's House Garden. 
PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY The Bishop's House Garden. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Sea Mere, Hingham.

There’s spectacular water views to be had as the gardens border a circular mere. Among the wetlands you’ll find formal gardens and shrub roses in the orchard.

Open: Sunday 3 September.

Admission: £5, children free.

Bishop’s House, Bishopgate.

Find rose beds and a bamboo walk within the four acres of this picturesque walled garden which has belonged to the Bishops of Norwich for over 900 years.

Open: Sunday 7 May.

Admission: £3, children free.

Sea Mere in Hingham. 
Picture by Keiron Tovell. Sea Mere in Hingham. Picture by Keiron Tovell.

Bolwick Hall, Marsham.

With an original garden design attributed to Humphry Repton, today the Georgian Hall that occupies the park and gardens is covered in roses. Enjoy a walk around the tranquil lake and working fruit and veg garden.

Open: Sunday 14 May.

Admission: £5, children free.

Holme Hale Hall, Swaffham.

With beautiful wisteria cascading the walls, little gates, water features and archways these gardens wouldn’t be out of place on a film set.

Open: Sunday 14 May, Sunday 13 August.

Admission: £6, children free.

The two long herbacious borders of Wretham Lodge looking straight down to Wretham Church.
 Photo by Denise Bradley. The two long herbacious borders of Wretham Lodge looking straight down to Wretham Church. Photo by Denise Bradley.

Lexham Hall, Litcham.

The wisteria clad ‘dome’ in the centre of the walled garden will take your breath away. Follow it up with an equally beautiful river walk over a fairytale bridge.

Open: Sunday 21 May, Wednesday 2 August.

Admission: £6, children free.

Stody Lodge, Melton Constable.

Home to one of the largest amounts of rhododendrons and azaleas in East Anglia, the gardens have been going since the 1920s. With water gardens, impressive flower beds and expansive lawns there’s something to catch everyone’s eye.

Open: Tuesday 23 May.

Admission: £6, children free.

Lake House, Brundall.

Dragonflies, birds and pond life alike flock to the centre of Brundall Gardens where they cascade down to a beautiful lake, creating breath-taking views and fairy-like feelings.

Open: Sunday 30 April, Monday 1 May.

Admission: Combined with Plovers Hill (below) £7, children free.

Hindringham Hall, Hindringham.

Complete with moat, vegetable garden, medieval fishponds and a Victorian nut walk this place is an olden day English dream.

Open: Sunday 1 October.

Admission: £5.00, children free.

For a complete list visit The National Open Gardens Scheme.

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