Garden Portrait: a leaping hare

OCTOBER is the month to share your favourite gardens.

(This month share with us what is special about your favourite garden. Why do you like it? When is it at its best? And how do we get there. Of course you may wish to share your own garden in which case unless you open it to the public, keep the actual location private. )

The next garden I visited on the route up the east coast is not far from Bury St Edmunds – itself an interesting town to spend an hour or two along with its own Abbey Gardens where I did stop to have a look, but was distracted by the small but delightful cathedral.

In true Suffolk countryside you will find Wyken Hall Gardens and Vineyard, home to Kenneth and Carla Carlisle. The 400 year old Suffolk barn houses the Leaping Hare country store, which sells some very beautiful wares along with their award winning wine, a café  and the Leaping Hare Vineyard restaurant.   I can vouch for the Bacchus wine even after it spent days in the boot of my car.


So, to the gardens which are open every afternoon from 2 – 6 pm except Saturday from April 1st until September 30th. A romantic garden surrounding an Elizabethan Manor House with paddocks containing llamas and sheep, free roaming guinea-fowl and peacocks, a kitchen garden and a hot bed. Let’s have a look around.

Croquet Lawn
Rose Garden

Alongside the house are a series of garden rooms which include a herb garden, a knot garden and a rose garden densely packed with old fashioned roses, delphiniums and hardy geraniums. A pergola leads through a blue Gothic gate to the garden pond complete with a decked pier and two Adirondack chairs.

The Pond and Pier

We sat there for a while enjoying the warm September sunshine before continuing around the garden to the Dell, planted with silver birch and an ancient oak tree. At the top of the Dell is a newly planted copper beech maze  and a nuttery leading to a gazebo where we sat again to enjoy the melodious tones of the large wind chime.


The paddock contains sheep and a couple of llama, but charmingly on the lawn by the formal garden are two ornamental sheep which I quite fancy. An ancient orchard is occupied by guinea-fowl and peacocks and a kitchen garden supplies the Vineyard restaurant with fresh produce.

Returning to the house you find a Red Hot border with a Corn Stalk gate at the end which was cast from the moulds for the famous railings in New Orleans. The house itself has a copper red limewash which is what ‘Suffolk Pink’ was in Elizabethan times. The southern veranda has five lovely blue rocking chairs brought over from Mississippi and is shaded by columns of Spartan apples, espaliered high so they do not block the view from the house.

In front of the veranda is a Quincunx, five equal interlocking circles which was inspired by a herb garden which Gertrude Jekyll made for Knebworth. In the centre circle is a ceramic fountain designed by potter Clive Davies.



The settlement at Wyken dates back 6000 years with the Hall dating from 1570 with later wings added in 1630 and 1680 and a major face-lift in 1920. The hares have no significance other than the affection of the family and these magical creatures can be seen pargeted on the house and feature on the wine labels.

Source: Information about the gardens is taken from the Wyken Garden leaflet.

If you would like to join in with Garden Photography then please take a look at my Garden Photography Page. No complicated rules 🙂

  • Create your own post and title it October: A Garden Portrait
  • Include a link to this page in your post so others can find it too
  • Add the tag “GardenChallenge” so everyone can find the posts easily in the WP Reader
  • Get your post in by the end of the month, as the new theme comes out on the first Sunday in November.
  • Please visit the sites in the comments to see what others are posting.

43 Comments Add yours

  1. The Quincunx is an intriguing idea and the blue fountain at the centre is eyecatching. It’s impressive to see how much planning has gone into this beautiful garden.

    1. Heyjude says:

      The entire garden is extremely well-planned. There is also a woodland walk, but it was a hot day so we kept walking to a minimum.

  2. Sue says:

    Looks a lovely, well-planned garden. Quincunxes brings to mind Durrell’s Avignon Quintet, read many years ago, and if I find myself housebound with nothing else to do, I might revisit it…… 😉

    1. Heyjude says:

      Very well designed and very quiet. We had a lovely hour or so in the sunshine.

  3. Anabel Marsh says:

    Delightful! I love the look of the house too, quintessentially English and so different from buildings of the same time period up here.

    1. Heyjude says:

      It is a grand house – I love the colour!

  4. Your pootle north is paying great dividends. The gardens you’ve featured so far are distinctive. I too love the colour of the walls and your info about it. You’re increasing my knowledge in other ways too: two new words (quincunx and pargeted). However I really wanted to see more of the blues chairs against that beautiful wall (if that’s how it was.)

    1. Heyjude says:

      I tried to find some gardens along the way that are a little different. Of course September is not the best month for gardens, but I was surprised bu how much was in flower and especially the roses! Sorry, I didn’t get any closer to the blue rocking chairs against the wall, but there is one in the herb garden if you look closely 🙂

      1. I did see the herb garden one. I wanted them all beautifully arranged, blue against that rich terracotta-y colour. I’m greedy.

        1. Heyjude says:

          I’m not sure we were able to go down that path as it is close to the house and some areas were private. But I know what you mean. I’d just like one of those chairs!

  5. Joanne Sisco says:

    What an absolutely charming place!! The manor house captured my attention the most, though. Look at all those chimneys!

    1. Heyjude says:

      I’d LOVE to live in a house (with a garden like this). Sadly out of my league…

  6. petakaplan says:

    Beautiful garden photos. I love the shot of the windows and the rust colored wall. All so picturesque.


    1. Heyjude says:

      Ah, such a lovely house… and the blue chairs and seating contrasted beautifully with the painted walls. I have more lovely buildings to come on Travel Words.

  7. I really like the brightly painted house – the garden looks wonderful against this backdrop. It definitely looks worth a visit!

    1. Heyjude says:

      It is. And there are some gorgeous items for sale in the shop – just a little too expensive for me 🙂 But the wine is very good.

      1. My husband often says, ‘There’s nothing more dangerous than a middle-class woman in a gift-shop”. (When I’m in a farm shop, he changes it to “farm-shop”.)

        1. Heyjude says:

          Farm shops can be rather expensive too, but I am more tempted by them 🙂

  8. restlessjo says:

    Very little time to comment but this looks delightful. My own memories of Bury St Edmunds involve rain, a tiny pub and duck pate sandwiches washed down with Guinness. Having a glass of port before we eat tonight. Love to all xxx

    1. Heyjude says:

      Memorable! Not sure about duck pate with Guinness though. Are you home? Wishing you well…

      1. restlessjo says:

        A rainy day has finally arrived after 2 weeks of glorious. Heading home today xxx

    2. Heyjude says:

      I hope everything goes well. I can’t understand how you have managed to stay in the Algarve, you must be very organised 🙂

      1. restlessjo says:

        I needed the Algarve. Being home is a nightmare. I will email when it’s over. x

        1. Heyjude says:

          (( )) take care

  9. Lucid Gypsy says:

    The hot border is stunning, I’m always impressed when a garden does late summer well. The herb garden is lovely as well and I also rather like those sheep.

    1. Heyjude says:

      More gardens seem to have extended their planting in to the late autumn. I love it!

  10. In line with your theme of favourite gardens, I’d like to share a link to a post about a garden I visited recently for the first time, Abbotsford House near Melrose in the Scottish Borders. The entrance ticket gives free return visits within a year, so I will certainly be back and it is likely to become one of my favourites:

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thank you for the link – I will indeed look out for it when I next go north!

  11. This is a very pretty garden – I would be more than happy if it were mine! There is so much to see, and the fact that you sit and enjoy it for a while is always a bonus.

    1. Heyjude says:

      It was a lovely day and we only had a short distance to travel to our next stopover so we managed to fit a few places in along the way.

      1. It always feels like a bonus when you can fit several things in I find. 🙂

        1. Heyjude says:

          Yes, and we found three very different places. More will come over on the travel blog.

  12. Such splendor. Here I just got finished telling you how much I miss autumn and then you go and remind me about how much I miss land in general :-).

    1. Heyjude says:

      I would certainly miss gardens if I was on a boat for a long time, but that is NOT going to happen 🙂

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