Blickling Hall

Blickling Hall is a stately home in the village of Blickling north of Aylsham in Norfolk, England, that has been in the care of the National Trust since 1940.(Wikipedia) and the estate was once the home of the Boleyn family and now encompasses nearly 5000 acres, with an impressive Jacobean house, a lovely garden and acres of parkland to walk or cycle through.

We visited it in August 2013, during one of the warmest summers we have experienced in recent years. The sight of the beautiful Jacobean mansion, with its turrets and gables and salmon-pink brickwork is breathtaking. I adore symmetry, and this is so wonderfully symmetrical, even the Dutch-style service ranges opposite each other on either side of the wide gravel drive.

From this aspect you have a glimpse of shrubs and climbers such as fuchsias, ferns and hydrangea ‘petiolaris’ on the walls and in the dry moat. This is just an appetiser for what awaits you through the entrance in the east wall.

The Parterre
The Parterre

In front of the hall is a flower-filled parterre, a formal garden interspersed with topiary. The planting is the work of Norah Lindsay who worked on country house gardens in the 1920s and ’30s. Her relaxed interpretation of Gertrude Jeykll’s painterly style is ordered by hedges and topiaries. She left the 17th century fountain, but cleared everything else apart from the topiary, including the famous ‘grand pianos’.

DSCF0310
The Parterre

She joined the corner flower beds in to four squares and each one is edged in two-tone roses. Pink and crimson Floribundas ‘Else Poulson’ and Kirsten Poulson’ or orange and red ‘Locarno’ and Polyantha ‘Gloria Mundi’. Two of the corners are filled with herbaceous plants in pastel colours whilst the other two are filled with hotter colours. Monkshood, bellflowers, globe thistles and delphiniums create the cooler beds whilst achilleas, heleniums, rudbeckias and lilies shout loudly from the hotter palette.

To the raised south-side of the parterre box-edged double borders have been created in the Lindsay style filled with daylilies, crocosmia, purple berberis and striped miscanthus grasses and behind them is a border of pale and silvery plants.

Double Border

Away from the house paths run up through woodland to the Doric Temple. This is a grid pattern and each radial walk is of a single tree species such as beech or lime which lead to circular clearings.

Woodland
Woodland

Behind the temple you have views over the surrounding parkland. And close by you will find a handsome Orangery built around 1782 and now once again hosting orange, lemon and lime trees. Within the woodland you can find a Secret Garden which is a cool, green retreat with brick pathways and a sundial, hostas, daylilies, sweet-scented honeysuckle and blue-flowering hydrangeas.

Tucked away behind the mansion a little walled garden can be found with ancient Victorian glasshouses and beds of flowers and vegetables. I think walled gardens are always worth a wander around to see what hidden treasures can be found.

If you do manage to find yourself in this corner of North Norfolk then do not miss visiting this marvellous garden and house. It is truly delightful to see what can be grown in a county known for its hostile climate of dry summers and cold, windy winters.

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19 Comments Add yours

  1. Nguyên-Kan says:

    Thanks for sharing. The post is great!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks, it is a great place to visit.

  2. suej says:

    Thanks for the tour – I especially like the look of the cool corner ….

    1. Heyjude says:

      Ah, yes, those are my sort of colours too. The hot beds were pretty amazing with some extraordinary flowers in the planting. After the long cold spring last year the flowers were stunning and much later, we were here in late August when usually things are beginning to fade. I’m ready now for another garden fix!

      1. suej says:

        Hope you get your garden fix very soon!

    2. Heyjude says:

      Many of the gardens around here open in April so I have a long list ready!

      1. suej says:

        Great! Have fun, and I look forward to your posts!

  3. It’s beautiful Jude! I’ve not been there but it looks a wonderful place to go in the late summer with those fabulous borders 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Sarah. The borders are quite stunning and I suspect earlier in the summer the roses are quite delightful when they are at their peak.

  4. Stunning! Gardening is my love in sunny Florida! Looking forward to your A-Z Challenge posts! Jan@Mermaids and Cashmere

    1. Heyjude says:

      I shall have to have a look at what herbal remedies you come up with during the challenge – good luck!

  5. Ananya Kiran says:

    Beautiful post n beautiful pictures 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Many thanks Ananya 🙂

  6. Amy says:

    Gorgeous, really impressive, Jude! Love English garden… Thank you so much for the link

    1. Heyjude says:

      I thought you might enjoy a read through some English gardens, though there are a few ‘foreign’ ones in the mix 🙂

  7. pommepal says:

    That is a magnificent perennial border, the colours are stunning Jude. I enjoyed my walk with you around a beautiful English garden

    1. Heyjude says:

      It’s pretty stunning PP. I was so delighted to see this garden behind the hall. From the front you have no idea of the beauty in the grounds. Wish I lived closer to this place. 🙂

  8. Dina says:

    GREAT post about my beloved Blickling! Wonderful images, Jude, you captured the special flair of this place very well.
    Dina xo

    1. Heyjude says:

      It is a lovely place, both house and garden. You are lucky to live nearby.

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