I'm doing the rounds of Suffolk gardens at the moment and recently took advantage of 'Gardener's Friday' openings to visit Lucy Redman's garden at Rushbrooke and The Walled Garden at Langham Hall. Both are not far from Bury St Edmunds. And what a contrast!
Lucy is a self-confessed 'maximalist' plantaholic who runs design courses at her home throughout the year. When I arrived, she emerged from her home apologising for not having heard the bell as she'd just been dyeing her hair pink! No photograph to prove it but indeed she had. And she claims she's just about to take some mauve paint spray to her dried allium heads as well - and I think I believe her!
The latest addition to this unusual garden is a 'river' of metal dramatically created by Lucy and her husband and newly planted with gravel-loving succulents. Even ever-energetic Lucy admits it was a labour of love in its creating.
Moving on to the Walled Garden at Langham Hall was a very different world. Here Phil Mizen runs Langham Herbs but I was there to met Sue Wooster, holder of the NCCPG's National Collection of Alpine Campanulas. Tucked away at the end of the recently restored walled garden, Sue's Bellflower Nursery is a relatively new venture allowing her to display her collection of alpine campanulas as well as selling a selection of them and other perennials.
August is not the best time to see alpine campanulas but such is Sue's enthusiasm, I'll be back in the Spring to see the display in all its glory. The garden and nursery are so peaceful that it's a place to linger and learn.