I love discovering little walled gardens and I hope you do too? I think it takes me back to my childhood when I read The Secret Garden. I was fascinated with finding a little hidden gem all of my own. If you haven’t read it, it’s an excellent book for people of all ages. The Norwich Plantation Gardens are not dissimilar to the book and a firm favourite with our kids – although they’re not dog friendly.
The Plantation Gardens
The Plantation Gardens are in Norwich, just off the inner ring-road, tucked in behind the Catholic and United Reform churches. To look at it, you wouldn’t think that the gardens spread three acres and the oasis of peace and tranquility provides a therapeutic retreat in a bustling city.
The gardens were built and designed out of a chalk quarry in the 1800’s and although slightly different from today, the design has remained incredibly similar. The Gothic fountain and Medieval walls were all designed by Henry Trevor however much of the beds, lawns and terraces were re-built after the second world war when the gardens were abandoned.
The gardens have been lovingly restored by The Plantation Garden Preservation Trust and they ask for a £2 entrance donation.
Exploring The Different Areas
What we love so much about the Plantation Gardens are the sections of different areas ready to explore. The Gothic fountain takes pride of centre encircled by lush grass lawns and a eye-dazzling aray of colourful flower beds.
The Medieval wall and Italianate terrace, as well as the summer-house, sit at the west of the gardens and overlook the beds and fountain. There are some lovely little woodland walkways around and above the gardens and a rustic wooden bridge joining the higher and lower areas.
Once upon a time, there was a large glass palm house however this was dismantled in the early 1900s and its whereabouts are unknown. In its place, now stand hexagonal-shaped beds and pathways.
A Little Corner of Paradise
On our first visit, it was never our intention to spend three hours there but somehow time just seemed to disappear. We have been back repeatedly in different seasons to see how the colours change.
You can explore the summer-house and climb the stone steps, you can run through the woodland and pose for photos on the bridge. Come on, everyone does!
The kids rustled and tumbled on the grass before we smelled the flowers. At some point we had a small picnic and watched other people come and go throughout the afternoon. This really is a little corner of paradise inside a beautifully, progressive city.
I know you’ll love it!
The Gothic Fountain
Built in 1857, the fountain displays a taste of the medieval in what is otherwise a modern and thriving area of Norwich.
The Medieval Wall
Perhaps my favourite part of the gardens; coats of arms, niches, arcading and animal designs are set into flints and bricks, laid along three climbing pathways. They give rise to what is, in my opinion, the best view over the gardens.
Flights of steps, balustrades and pedestals with urns are on display here. There was originally a summer-house here too.
The Woodland Walk
Turn left past the Medieval wall to be taken round the side of the gardens and onto the bridge that straddles the mid section.
Plantation Garden Flowers
Events at the Plantation Gardens
I am so pleased to announce that the committee are now offering different summer events. Check out the events here.
Between May and September, Sunday’s host a 2-4 pm afternoon tea and there’s usually live music too.
The gardens have teamed up with The Picture House to offer an open-air cinema with a bar and BBQ. 2019 showed Jurassic Park, Top Gun, Mammi Mia and loads more.
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