A surprise gem in the heart of the Norfolk countryside

Guest blogger, Clean Living Clare has been to visit this fantastic garden, built by the colourful Alan Gray. The garden is divided into ‘rooms’, and is stuffed with tonnes of unusual and rare plants!

East Ruston Vicarage Garden is nestled in Norfolk Countryside, just a couple of miles from the coast, so close that you can actually see the gorgeous Happisburgh Lighthouse from the garden. 

I’d heard that the garden was a pretty special place. I visited on a glorious hot sunny day, where the sun shone through dappled shade and the sky was the bluest of blues.

This garden was simply, fantastic. I am used to visiting gardens where borders are interspersed with big areas of trees, or dull shrubs or grass areas. East Ruston is just not like that.

From the moment you enter, you are rewarded with an irresistible collection of plants. Every corner you turn you’re presented with more and more interest. Planting and colour combinations delight the senses including the nose, with delicate wafts of delicious fragrances as you wander through the garden.

I visited at the end of May when the herbaceous borders were in their full glory. I’d love to visit this garden at other times of the year to see how the garden differs. I’ve heard that the spring containers of bulbs are a sight to behold.

One of the things that struck me with the garden was the use of wildflower planting. Large drifts of wild flowers including many plants that I would consider weeds in my garden, have been carefully cultivated to stunning effect and just works marvellously.

Being a photography and a plant lover, I was like a child in a sweet shop and took more photographs than I know what to do with.

Of course, no decent garden allows you to leave without far too many plant purchases, and this one was no different. What I was impressed with was the quality and size of the plants at sensible prices.

Being a succulent lover, my only small disappointment was not being able to go and visit what looked to be an impressive collection of succulents in one of the greenhouses! So I had to settle for these stunning Aeonium specimens to get my succulent fix for the day.

Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’

If you’re in the area then definitely take a detour for the afternoon to visit this gem of a garden. I will definitely be back!

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