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 thoughts on “Garden Portrait: a leaping hare

  1. Pingback: Garden Photography, a Favourite – Lucid Gypsy

  2. Pingback: Chihuly in the Garden | A Walk in the Garden

  3. 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:

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