Beyond the Walls
Holkham Walled Garden, a tranquil, enchanting six acre site dates back to the late 18th century and is part of the Holkham Estate on the north Norfolk coast.
The walled garden is situated a quarter of a mile from Holkham Hall and provides fruit, vegetables and cut flowers for the family in the hall, just as it did over 200 years ago. It is one of the largest walled kitchen gardens in the country and is divided into different ‘rooms’ each with their own theme and associated planting plan.
The working garden: Glasshouses play a major part of this room being the dominant feature. The beds will be redesigned once the work on the glasshouses is completed, but for the moment, it is prairie planting that plays a major part.
The Arena of Plants: This area is a mix of colour using perennial shrubs and annuals with the centrepiece being a rose garden, which makes a pleasant place to sit and take in the scents and sounds.
Vineyard: Our take on a traditional French vineyard. Our young Solaris and Regent vines pruned in the ‘Guyot Style’ cast amazing shadows with their formally planted, yet informal habit. Events Room: Our evolving ‘hot’ planting style utilises later flowering herbaceous plants and shrubs to marry perfectly with the events season, something very different to the rest of the walled garden.
Orchard: This is currently a work in progress we plan to reintroduce apples and pears from different horticultural periods, so that we can show traditional pruning techniques and heritage varieties. It is also home to our busy bee hives and wildflower plantings.
Kitchen Garden or Vegetable and Fruit Garden: Producing vegetables and fruit to supply the hall all year round, with any surplus provided to The Victoria Inn. Explore the fruit and vegetables we grow through the seasons, from broad beans to onions, strawberries to apples. Sowing, growing, tending and harvesting all happen here, aided by our volunteers and school students.
Cut Flower Room: This space frames our spectacular 19th century vineries which house peaches, nectarines and grapes. This part of the garden fuels the needs of the florists who create impressive displays to decorate the hall, church and café.
After a decline in labour during the world wars the cost of heating and maintaining the garden became unviable and as a result the garden was abandoned. In 1964 the gardens were brought back to life as a working nursery and operated successfully until 2005 when they closed.
In 2009, an ambitious and sensitive restoration programme began, to return the walled garden to its former glory. The aim was to make it both accessible and enjoyable for visitors of all ages and interests.
In 2014 funding from the Country Houses Foundation enabled us to undertake some preliminary work which contributed to a successful stage one Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £84,700 which was received in August 2015.
Click here to download a PDF of this plan.