The Walled Garden
The Team Behind the Project
Led by Mark Morrell, Holkham’s Head Gardener and team of eight gardeners, supported by a team of volunteers, will take forward the next stage of the restoration project for the 18th century walled garden. Work started in November 2018 on adding to and improving the 6-acre site.
The walled garden trustees approved the plans that were presented. The proposed new planting plan has arisen following the walled garden trustees decision to decline the Heritage Lottery Fund second round grant. The team have spent the last few years tidying the squares and slips in the garden; improving the soil, the structure of pathways and generally maintaining what is there, however it is evident that we need to have a vision and a different direction to progress along with an impetus to change the layout.
Phase one, which is now complete, saw a big investment into the project with the main costs contributing towards creating the new space between the glasshouse and the walled garden. Year one plans were implemented by the opening of the 2019 visitor season in April. The team worked on box hedging, laying an irrigation system, as well as planting ornamental prunus varieties (plums) and autumn and spring flowers. Work was started on the Thomas Messenger glasshouse. There was a strong focus on propagating to ensure and encourage regrowth year-on-year.
The second phase of work started in November 2019, clearing what had previously been the ‘Arena of Plants’. Many of the semi-mature trees were moved to the arboretum and useful plants retained for planting elsewhere. The whole square was cleared and pathways have gone in and we have completed all of the hard landscaping, laid the lawn, planted the hedges and trees.
After spending the summer tackling the perennial weed problem in the Ornamental Garden, we will start planting all of the roses, perennials and other shrubs as of Autumn 2020.
The team will look at the first square creating two intricate filigree parterres which will frame colourful annuals. There will also be a new camellia and orchid planting created to celebrate the newly restored Thomas Messenger glasshouse.
This square will focus heavily on fruit. There will be a central structure with somewhere to sit. Planting of the north side of the room will house cherries, whilst the south, east and west visitors can expect to find lots of other varieties of fruits and where possible, the team will endeavour to use local and historic varieties. There will also be beds of low trained fruit such as apples and currents.
The area near the chickens and beehives which is currently laid to lawn is potentially to be developed into a sensory garden and place for educational horticulture.
The Cutting Garden
Topiary has been introduced into the existing cutting garden to add aesthetical value.
Phase two work on the bell in the Messenger Glasshouse has been completed and the newly cast bell is now in situ. Works on the potting sheds have also been completed. Next stage will be to complete the glasshouse to the front of the Messenger Glasshouse.
Samuel Wyatt Vinery
Restoration work to the Samuel Wyatt vinery has commenced. It is currently on hold while the Messenger Glasshouse is being completed, but will resume again shortly.