Day out yesterday all the way (about a mile) to Helmingham Hall for the spring plant fair. So many stalls! A plant lovers paradise, well I don’t get out much! From Sempervivum to herbs to all manor of herbaceous perennials and carnivorous plants as well.

Then through iron gate into the gardens. Along the edge of the moat around the house, the grass has been left long to fill with blowsy cow parsley and Ox-eye daisies and a curvy mown path leads you to box mazes and ancient mulberry trees in front of the walled garden.

Once in through the gate, a central path is filled with Aqueligia and Alliums in full bloom and peonies lupins and poppies just beginning. I saw a lot of people touch the strangely crispy Inula (I think) buds. I set off around the edges to admire the deep purple irises against the ancient brick walls and the vegetables in the centre.

Some bits which used to be vegetable gardens have been made into grassy paths with a wildflower spiral and a new piece of sculpture installed. There is magnificent Rosa Banksia lutea on one wall and long metal tunnels planted with sweet peas and runner beans forming the horizontal paths.

Over the bridge at the far end, because the gardens are moated as well as the house, is the wild garden bursting with buttercups and other meadow flowers and grasses.


And what did I buy? A stunning Auricula from Wootens and a lime mint for cold drinks on hot summer days.