Welcome to the Plant Geek Tour of Norwich. This beautiful, creative and historic city in the heart of the county of Norfolk is full of amazing gardens and public displays, plant-themed restaurants and cafes, and plant shops full of every plant you could imagine! Take the tour below to see 16 of the most exciting plant-related attractions in Norwich, it may even inspire you to make a visit!
|1. The Norfolk Olive Tree Company [MOVED], 2. Cow Tower, riverbanks and bird house, 3. Riverside Walk, 4. Erpingham House, 5. Strangers Hall, 6. Tofurei, 7. The Tipsy Vegan, 8. Grapes Hill Community Gardens, 9. Plantation Garden, 10. Plant Den [CLOSED], 11. Scaped Nature, 12. Lower Goat Lane, 13. Market beds, 14. Botanical Norwich, 15. Artel Coffee, 16. Window boxes near Norwich Cathedral gate, 17. Norwich Cathedral gardens|
1. The Norfolk Olive Tree Company [UPDATE: Moved]
Update: The Norfolk Olive Tree Company have moved location to Bungay Road, Bixley, Norwich, NR14 8RX
The closest full-on garden centre to the city centre, Norfolk Olive are not just about olives. They specialist in architectural plants, and are huge fans of the new Mangave plants, and one of the only retail stockists in the UK, no less! Visits are by appointment only, but you can always swing by and peek over the fence to check what’s in stock (don’t say we told you to, though!).
2. Cow Tower, riverbanks and bird house
Spring, summer, autumn, winter- there’s always something of interest on this river walk, of particular note are the glory of daffodils in the spring! Cow Tower is a marvel too, built between 1398 and 1399 by city authorities in response to the threat from France and indigenous English rebels, no less! The multi bird house also took my eye, let’s hope the birds don’t argue too much with their neighbours…!
3. Riverside Walk
Amble along the river side towards the East side of town and you’ll be greeted by the outstanding Weeping Willow trees outside St James Mill. Perfect selfie opportunity..
4. Erpingham House
One of the most prominent plant based restaurants in the UK, Erpingham put together an innovative and exciting menu, with delicious Buddha Bowls every day from brunch to lunch. The food is highly photogenic, so don’t be ashamed to snap a few photos, and sip on a Turmeric Latte too! Erpingham also has many fantastic backdrops, so why not strike a pose!
5. Strangers Hall
The secret garden is worth a peek, with topiary clipped to perfection! Lavender also billows out during the arm summer months.
Here’s where you’ll come if you like everything tofu! I couldn’t resist grabbing a tofu and leek pasty and it was super delicious! Oh, and a cheeky Kombucha too.. I was burping all the way home! They make their our signature tofu on site, plus it’s exclusively made from UK grown soya beans! Plus, they’ve just introduced a new smoked version too!
7. The Tipsy Vegan
Everything in the ‘Tipsy Vegan’ is, unsurprisingly, vegan! You guessed it though, the cocktails are also particularly delicious! Nestled down on St Benedict’s Street, it’s a city hotspot for get-togethers, a spot of tapas and a hearty plant-based meal!
8. Grapes Hill Community Gardens
A shining example of what you can create with community gardening, Grapes Hill is packed with group-grown edibles. Check out their workshop schedule too, there’s always something to see, and it’s only a short walk from the city centre.
9. Plantation Garden
For just a £2 entry fee, you get access to 3 acres of Grade II English Heritage registered gardens! It’s sometimes known as the Secret Garden because it’s hidden beside a Roman Catholic cathedral – and what a hidden gem it is!
10. Plant Den [UPDATE: Permanently closed]
UPDATE: Plant Den announced their permanent closure at the end 2021
From humble beginnings in the stairwell to Jarrolds, The Plant Den has developed into the premier source of houseplants in Norwich. Some call it an Emporium, and rightly so. Housed in an old Victorian Chocolate Shop, the shelves are packed with rare and unique plants, so there’s no waiting if you want to pick up a horticultural gem! Fresh stock arrives weekly too, so you can be assured of the very healthiest plants.
11. Scaped Nature
Probably the most comprehensive aquascaping shop in the UK, the team in Scaped Nature really are experts when it comes to underwater gardening. Their shop is packed out with aquatic plants, tanks and all the accessories you’ll need to start gardening with water! But they also garden above water level, with a range of terrariums and the plants to go in them!
12. Lower Goat Lane
There’s a few gems down this particular route, from Biddy’s Tea room to the contemporary wares in Elm. There’s also an awesome falafel bar called Moorish!
13. Market beds
The voluptuous herbaceous beds at the top of the market are a must-see! They’ve been planted seasonally, and there’s always something to dazzle you! Why not grab an International takeaway lunch from the brilliant Norwich Market and take a seat with this great city view?
14. Botanical Norwich
Based in the midst of Norwich Market, Botanical Norwich is filled with on-trend houseplants, from terrariums, to tropical plants, to succulents. They’ve also got a fantastic range of pots, and there’s new stock in every week!
15. Artel Coffee
If you’re gasping for a flat white, Artel should be on your Norwich route. Tasty snacks will compliment your coffee fix, and you’ll be marvelling at the plants, especially those hanging in those snazzy Boskke upside down pots!
16. Window boxes near Norwich Cathedral gate
As you make your way to the cathedral gardens via the Ethelbert Gate, don’t overlook the window boxes that adorn the Cambridge House building! Re-planted seasonally, snapping a pic is an Instagram must!
17. Norwich Cathedral gardens
Why not have a bit of a nose around the Cathedral, and especially the residences around The Close and Hooks Lane? The gardens are immaculately kept and full of very special plants.
|1. The Norfolk Olive Tree Company, 2. Cow Tower, riverbanks and bird house, 3. Riverside Walk, 4. Erpingham House, 5. Strangers Hall, 6. Tofurei, 7. The Tipsy Vegan, 8. Grapes Hill Community Gardens, 9. Plantation Garden, 10. Plant Den [CLOSED], 11. Scaped Nature, 12. Lower Goat Lane, 13. Market beds, 14. Botanical Norwich, 15. Artel Coffee, 16. Window boxes near Norwich Cathedral gate, 17. Norwich Cathedral gardens|
Michael has been involved with gardening and plants since he was just five years old. He is a self-professed Plant Geek, and was listed in the Sunday Times top 20 most influential people in the gardening world, thanks to his plant hunter role at Thompson & Morgan.
Michael was responsible for new plant introductions such as the Egg and Chips plant and the FuchsiaBerry and keeps busy travelling the world in search of new plants as well as lecturing worldwide, including stints in Japan. He is very active on social media – so why not give him a follow at @mr_plantgeek or Facebook. You can also listen to The Plant Based Podcast with Michael and co-host Ellen-Mary on iTunes, Spotify and Google.