Norfolk NGS last week launched their county booklet at the home of George Carter. Over 90 of us gathered which included many of the garden owners, sponsor and advertisers.
Intrigued by what a designer might do on his own patch, so to speak, George Plumptre, NGS Chief Executive, having written articles on several gardens with which Carter has been involved, also joined us.
The rain bucketed down and the peacock (there is only one) sensibly keeping dry watched our arrival, seemingly unperturbed.
A record £110,000 was raised in Norfolk last year for nursing charities. Nicola from Macmillan Cancer Support thanked us for our contribution and reminded us of the importance of the NGS as its single largest donor; she enlightened us with the shocking fact that every day in Norfolk 15 people are diagnosed with cancer. This has a huge effect on the extended families.
The magnificent Barn, magically restored, is set amongst farm buildings. Cart sheds house all sorts of ephemera, and the yards are cunningly designed giving a pleasing and orderly effect that does not distract from their original use.
Elegant sturdy ornaments are found throughout the garden. Carefully placed they are not always as solid as you might think and are often lightweight, being made of modern materials.
Proportions are perfect but the water not so inviting on a day like today.
It is a working place with sheds storing carpentry, ironwork and anything that Carter considers might be reused in a future design.
By the farm building is an obelisk which defines the boundary of the property.
A full stop at the end of the leafy drive:
It is the attention to detail which is so immeasurable. Balls, cones and obelisks pop up everywhere including within the foliage. It is a lesson in geometry.
The elegant garden gate is open and invites in:
Whilst another is horticulturally amusingly:
This is a garden without a flower in sight. No snowdrop here. As Karen, a garden owner herself describes, it is like a theatre set and we are expecting someone to appear in 17th century costume. Not today though, it is far too wet.
An apple made of lead and part gilded is a prototype for the design of a garden in America.
Carter makes his paths narrow and straight; they have a presence within the overall design.
Not just at the back of the house, but in the front too.
And to our delight he agrees to open his garden for the NGS next year. Sometime in October would be perfect. We are thrilled at the prospect. The last two cars are hauled out of the mud and Fiona skilfully changes her punctured tyre single-handed. That’s county organisers for you!