Blickling wilderness tackled
PUBLISHED: 13:30 03 March 2010 | UPDATED: 10:24 13 July 2010
Gardeners at a Norfolk stately home are transforming an historic “wilderness” that was ravaged by storms more than 20 years ago.
The woodland area at Blicklling Hall dates back to the 17th century area, was formalised in the Victorian era, then devastated by the 1987 storm which saw 260 trees lost on the National Trust flagship estate.
Gardeners at Blickling Hall are transforming an historic “wilderness” that was ravaged by storms more than 20 years ago.
The woodland area at the hall, dating back to the 17th century, was formalised in the Victorian era, then devastated by the 1987 storm which saw 260 trees lost on the National Trust flagship estate.
Now staff are turning it into a series of “garden rooms”, and spring visitors are beginning to see the results.
The wilderness areas lied beyond the borders and topiary of the carefully designed and maintained formal gardens at the Jacobean house.
They began as a formalised woodland area, with hedge-lined walks leading through managed groves of trees, with paths added in the Victorian era to form the shape of a pair of Union flags leading off of a central walkway.
But the area took the brunt of the 1987 storm damage. And replanting of trees, designed to protect the avenues that form the main structure of the wilderness, reached a point where they were causing damage through overcrowding.
As part of a long-term project, Blickling's team of gardeners and 40 garden volunteers are now slowly transforming the overgrown areas within the avenues into garden rooms once.
They have already complete the Dell Garden, which contains a stunning collection of hellebores, and the second area, the newly created Orangery Garden, will be unveiled to visitors for the first time this weekend .
Rob Wiskin, one of the gardeners working on this project, said: “We're aiming to create a garden at Blickling that can be enjoyed all year round. The new Orangery Garden will be a late winter/early spring garden and will include everything from hellebores, primroses, willow, viburnum, mahonia, daphnes and camellia.
“Detailed research has been carried out into this area. We're using old receipts to match our planting with the planting that would have been used in the 1850s, creating these discrete 'garden rooms' enclosed by 'green walls' of evergreens.”
This year further work will continue in the wilderness, to create another four more garden rooms, consisting of cherry trees, Laburnums, roses and ferns.
The new Orangery Garden opened on Saturday.
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