Our England is a garden, and such gardens are not made
By singing "Oh, how beautiful!" and sitting in the shade,
While better men than we go out and start their working lives
At grubbing weeds from gravel-paths with broken dinner-knives
So wrote Kipling [full poem here] and he was right – a beautiful garden requires hard work and devotion. On holiday a couple of weeks ago we went with Liz and Jon to visit an amazing garden right in the centre of Norwich.
He also founded the Norwich Horticultural Society. A keen Baptist Christian, he believed that encouraging townsfolk to plant gardens would ‘develop morality and religion’ in the community.
Sadly the garden became neglected and it was virtually abandoned after WW2. But in recent years the Garden Preservation Trust has been formed to restore these gardens to their former glory.
We enjoyed walking round, looking for wildlife, admiring the summerhouse, being impressed by the ‘follies’ and generally overwhelmed by the vistas.
I only took a few photographs – most of the time I was just squealing “Ooh look at this” and “Isn’t this lovely?” It cost £2 to go in, but annual family membership is only £12 for unlimited visits. Seems good value to me!
Liz said if she worked nearby in Norwich she would want to bring her packed lunch here each day, to sit and eat it in such beautiful surroundings.
Our England is a garden that is full of stately views,
Of borders, beds and shrubberies and lawns and avenues,
With statues on the terraces and peacocks strutting by;
But the Glory of the Garden lies in more than meets the eye.
Do look at the website [here] and read the full history '[here] There are lots more spectacular pictures and also plenty of details of opening times and events which happen throughout the year. I am so impressed by the volunteers who work diligently to restore this fabulous hidden treasure.
I suspect the garden at Cornerstones is too small for me to create an elaborate stone folly in the corner. But a girl can dream, can’t she…?