As usual before a show everybody rushed in early to get their exhibits set up and there was the usual friendly rivalry.
While the judging was taking place we had a short talk on the Plantation Garden in Norwich by one of the gardens trustees. This garden is known as Norwich’s secret garden being in the middle of the city adjacent to the Roman Catholic cathedral . The most easiest route to get there is by train to Norwich station and then a number 26 bus. The land was donated by Sir John Petters to a preachers charity and is still owned by a hospital charity to this day. Henry Trevor son of a farmer built a substantial house and created the garden from a chalk quarry using reclaimed materials to provide niches, ruins, surprises and fountains. No one particular style dominated but an eclectic mix of Victorian, Gothic, Italianate, medieval and rustic, using architectural salvage. As the garden was built in a quarry it had sloping sides and these were heavily planted with trees and shrubs. also bedding plants and chrysanthemums were extensively used. There was also a palm house with tropical and sub tropical plants.
After Henry’s death it became impossible to maintain the garden and the palm house fell in to disrepair with the garden becoming totally overgrown. The house passed through several hands , the NHS and midwives training to becoming an hotel but now is a private home.
The garden is mainly run by volunteers with one part time gardener, it is extremely popular with the towns people and is well used, the entrance fee being only £2 which encourages visitors to visit during their lunch breaks.