It is a rare moment that I get a chance to visit a garden ahead of the formal opening date so I was fortunate to be able to see The Old House as preparations were being made for this Sunday.
The garden is situated between the Church and the Broad at Ranworth on the East side of Norfolk.
A beautiful memorial stone lines up with the church tower.
We follow the path beyond and into the arboretum, the planting of which began in 1991.
Cornus ‘Eddies White Wonder’ originally from America not only looks lovely now but will also have splendid Autumn colour.
Paths wind round and under branches. It is such a bonus to find all the trees have labels.
It is easy to forget how magnificent is the flower of the Horse Chestnut Aesculus hippocastanum.
The cherry trees are overloaded with blossom,
and the variety in colour is striking.
Paths radiate out from the church tower including this avenue of oaks. The joy of an arboretum at this time of year is there is still plenty to come.
The cow parsley is nearly out and is going to look good with this Betula ‘inverleith’ .
Moving away from the arboretum towards the house the spreading arms of the sweet chestnut castanea sativa make it look positively human!
In the garden there is a potager with much activity in preparation for the opening.
It was inspired by a visit to the Chateau de Villandry many years ago.
The goddess Gaia, the personification of the Earth, overlooks the planting.
This pattern was taken from the ceiling of Cordoba cathedral,
whilst this brickwork was inspired by the floor.
An ancient terracotta pot surrounded by herbs, sits firmly on a bed of thrift.
And a decorative bench is nearby.
The long grass path edged with box leads to a sculpture,
which is of a cheetah so swift of foot.
Aggie takes us through the gate,
which we close firmly behind.
We have entered another garden
which is overlooked by the pair of guinea fowl.
On the other side of this space is yet a further garden.
with yet another fine sculpture
Sheltering near the house the tree fern too is a work of art.
Part of the garden faces the wide expanse of water of Ranworth Broad. These beautiful gates were made by a granddaughter.
Narcissi and snowflake brighten the foreground. This broad is cut off from the boat traffic and is a peaceful haven for wildlife.
This realistic heron waits.
By the front door is Bengal Beauty, one of the first roses to flower.
On the stable block the wisteria has not been snapped by the first frost.
As I walk back to the car Magnolia Elizabeth is looking lovely with its soft yellow blooms.
This is a garden full of artistry; calming sculptures, fine trees, and beautiful blossom. Such glorious gates too, and they will be opening for visitors on Sunday 23rd April.