On 17 June a group of just over thirty Association members and friends visited Helmingham Hall near Stowmarket in Suffolk. We stopped for a welcome cup of coffee in the newly redesigned restaurant at Anglesey Abbey and arrived at Helmingham at midday. After a generous cold buffet lunch we were ready to explore the gardens …
The gardens are laid out on either side of a moated Tudor Hall (not open to the public ).The larger garden to the West of the Hall is set in a huge walled garden. Approached by an apple tree, a large part of the walled garden is devoted to vegetables and fruit with herbaceous borders laid out in a grid pattern in the area nearer to the house. Nearest to the house is a large lawn with a parterre. On two sides of the exterior of the walled garden there are long and spectacular herbaceous borders glowing with roses and paeonies. Beyond the walled garden away from the house is a wild flower meadow reached by a cool yew tree walk. On the other side of the house there is a smaller area laid out more recently than the walled. Nearest to the house is a slightly sunk knot garden with neatly clipped box beds and then a delightful rose garden set within a square of yew hedges and consisting of a series of broad curved beds which together make a circle round a central feature. This area has a more intimate feel than the grand scale of the walled garden. The whole visit was very much appreciated by those who went.
click for Jeremy’s photos