East Ruston Old Vicarage, Norfolk

east ruston vicarage garden

East Ruston Old Vicarage is a must visit for visitors to Norfolk. However please don’t do what we did and arrive before opening time (a leisurely 2pm) in desperate need of tea / coffee / any old caffienne, having been victim of a powercut at our rented cottage.  Sad, desperate times they were.

We detoured to the beach for a few hours before returning and I am pleased to report that they serve tea and we cleaned them out of savoury bakes. I was also very happy to meet their gang of lhasa apsos who were hanging about the cafe area, presumably trying to nick cake crumbs.

The gardens are lovely.  You must pick up the booklet while there as the illustrated map of the grounds is a nice keepsake and extremely helpful in guiding you around.

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The garden is made up of many ‘rooms’, some of which have been positioned to ‘borrow’ a view from a distant landmark.  One of the most stunning has to be the framed view of the Happisburgh Lighthouse from the Winter Garden.  So difficult to photograph and one that really must be seen in person (an image can be seen here). My other favourite thing about this garden was the glasshouses. Er, again no pictures. Clearly we were too busy enjoying these lovely things! One housed a beautiful climbing rose and the scent was just incredible as you walked inside.

east ruston old vicarage

They also have a nicely stocked nursery area where you can purchase plants. Must be a lovely place for locals to come and stock up.

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East Ruston Old Vicarage Gardens / Closes for winter on 26 October / Opening times: 2 – 5.30pm

Jardin de Majorelle – Yves Saint Laurent’s garden in Marrakech

jardin majorelle

Since this time of year is a bit dreary, I thought I would go through some of our old photos and blog places we visited prior to starting Garden Scout.

We visited Marrakech in 2009 and of course visited Yves Saint Laurent’s Jardin de Majorelle. It is a must see. Marrakech is a bit of an overwhelming experience, but the garden is a peaceful haven away from all the crowds and hassle of the medina.  The place is visually stunning: the blue of the villa is an amazing backdrop for the various cacti species.

YSL jardin de majorelleYSL turtlesJardin de MajorelleCacti Majorelle

Pukekura Park, New Plymouth

Whilst I had the best of intentions to visit lots of gardens whilst in New Zealand, we were on the go so much that we really didn’t get much of a chance. However while in New Plymouth, Steve and I shot off on our own for a quick wander around Pukekura Park, one of New Zealand’s botanical gardens.

The Park has many features, including a 1930s tea house, fountain, fernery and glasshouses amongst native bush and formal gardens.  We only got around a small section at the southern end of the park, but I was really very impressed by how beautiful it was and it didn’t hurt that we had glorious weather.

Puhoi and Matakana by The Selby

I love The Selby.  What a surprise to see that he has paid a visit to Matakana and Puhoi, small villages north of Auckland and not far from where I grew up. They are really wonderful places to visit: Puhoi is now being marketed as a “historic village” and Matakana has been known as a foodie haven for a few years now.  My Dad was telling me on my latest visit home that my grandfather used to help out at the Puhoi Pub.  It’s not pictured, but it’s a sun trap and so full of character.