Walcott Green is a tiny hamlet right away across on the far side of the Norfolk from me and very close to the coast at Happisburgh. The trouble with inviting myself to visit a garden before the Open Day is that those bright helpful signs are not yet visible and so I get hopelessly lost.
Eventually I found Walcott House. It was an added bonus that Nick not only showed me around his lovely garden but also gave me the most delicious lunch.
The garden begins in the old farmyard next to the house. Sheltered by walls the herb garden is well advanced in early April when I visited. The roses centred in the four beds will be flowering pink in June when the garden opens for the NGS.
Traditional farm buildings link together providing a series of gardens. In the next enclosure a block planting of Epimedium is effective in softening the edges of the brick path.
A local blacksmith made the centrepiece of the old bullock yard, where the character of the buildings is retained. Euphorbias are growing richly in the beds and will soon fill this outdoor room.
We are enticed past the hayracks through to the next sunny space.
Where the theme is predominantly white. Tulips will in time be replaced by roses and clematis.
This is a garden still in progress. The round box balls will be contrasted by yew pyramids yet to be cut.
The garden flows out from the farm buildings and a glance back reveals the wall which will soon be smothered in a white rose.
Nick is a man who enjoys symmetry and order. What better way than to express it than in the garden.
Pleached hornbeam gives height above the box hedges. Paths criss-cross in straight lines.
A planting of Stipa giganta gently eases you into the less formal area beyond.
Along the terrace in front of the south-facing side of the house is a line of urns.
The eye is drawn over the croquet lawn to the trees beyond.
We can get a sense of how this will look in the summer from the website photo https://www.ngs.org.uk/find-a-garden/garden/31685
Turning back to the house and just to the right is this little lady encircled by box.
The old drive gently curves away from the house. Each year the planting is increasing: primroses, hellebores and camellias.
Formality has been washed away along the stream where the planting is exuberant and relaxed.
Nick has planted hundreds of trees here since he arrived in 2002; there is a great variety stretching out either in avenues or shelter belts.
We come to an area yet untouched. He is still deciding on the plan. I suggest a maze might be in keeping with his love of uniformity.
Overlooking the tennis court is the delightful restored pavilion. Mounted on a swivel, it was used for TB patients and could be turned to face and follow the sun.
A wild plum which was already here nestles next to it.
We walk back through the farmyard; a pittisprorum fills a corner sheltering from the coastal winds.
Nick is proud of what he has created over the past 15 years and quite rightly so. Hedges from cuttings, trees from young whips, and buckets of patience. The neat structured areas contrast perfectly with the natural and the woodland.
The garden will be opening on Sunday 25th June from 1.30pm – 5pm. Those lucky enough to have sat nav NR12 0NU.