Swannington open gardens
A tiny Norfolk village has big ambitions for its open gardens event in June. Swannington (population 200) near Reepham, is planning a bumper edition of its bi-annual open gardens event on Sunday 25th June, to raise funds for two important local causes.
A total of eight gardens will be on show and all proceeds will be split between the upkeep of the village’s 13th century church and the redevelopment of the local play area.
The Swannington in Bloom trail will includes Swannington Manor – where the grounds have previously been described as ‘the most romantic in Norfolk’. (pictured below)
The house (not open) built in 1700 creates a stunning backdrop to the garden. A 300-year-old yew hedge, thought to be unique to this country, dominates the garden creating a natural framework for the mixed shrub and herbaceous borders. In addition there are specimen trees, a sunken rose garden and a knot garden to add further interest.
Other gardens open range from the highly groomed to more natural environments, each with their own character and story. The trail extends for almost a mile, to as far as Upgate Cottage, where this idyllic country garden has in fact been created only in the past six years. Roses and herbaceous plants abound, with a heated greenhouse, bog garden, vegetable potage and wildflower orchard with walks.
Chairman of the organising committee, Pamela Smith, said: “We might be small, but we’re incredibly lucky to not only have some beautiful gardens to show off, but also lots of community-spirited residents who pull together to ensure that everyone who visits Swannington in Bloom has a wonderful day out.”
In 2015, the event attracted over 400 visitors despite poor weather, so the hope is that a sunny day this year will make for a record turnout. There will also be stalls and attractions on the village common including pottery, glassware and art by local artists as well as homemade teas at the church and in several gardens.
Gardens are open from 10am – 5pm on Sunday 25th June. Tickets cost £4 in advance, £5 on the day, with more information about the gardens that will be opening and details of where to buy tickets online at www.swanningtoninbloom.org
Photo credits: All photographs ©Geoffrey Smith