The inspiration came from 17th century Dutch gardens where the key aims were the creation of different spaces and the contrast between light and dark and open and closed. The plants also reflect this period and included UK and Mediterranean natives. Again there is a variety of statuary designed by the owner and made up by local craftsmen.
As with the Mill garden I liked having calm green spaces. I enjoyed less the lack of colour. It was very tidy and rather static. One of our group asked wistfully, “Where are the bees?”
For lunch we drove to North Elmham Village Hall for a wonderful lunch provided by the local Women’s Institute. They really did us proud with nicely laid tables, a substantial main course and then, in typically WI fashion, a fantastic choice of desserts.
DALE FARM, Dereham
Dragging ourselves away from the temptation of second or third helpings of the desserts, we drove on to Dale Farm which could not be a greater contrast to the previous garden. It is owned and run by Graham and Sally Watts who bought the house and land in 2006. Graham has the respected Kew Diploma and Sally trained in floristry. Sally is responsible for the propagation, the fruit and vegetable while Graham said he manages the ‘pond’.