4:00 p.m. May 29, 2022
My fondest memory is going to Christchurch Park in Ipswich with my grandparents when I was a kid. I have loved gardening from a young age so I really enjoyed exploring the picturesque grounds with the expansive lawns, wooded areas, arboretum and ponds. And visit Christchurch Mansion – the great Tudor house with its fabulous art collection.
Walberswick has such a beautiful unspoilt sand and shingle beach and takes you right past Walberswick Nature Reserve which has a range of habitats including reed beds and hay meadows.
I love visiting other gardens for inspiration and we are so fortunate to have such wonderful gardens to visit here in Suffolk. Helmingham Hall, Wyken Vineyards, Fullers Mill and Henstead Exotic Garden are my favorites. I always come back full of new ideas.
Places to eat
The Great Barn Restaurant at Retreat East in Hemingstone is a fabulous place to eat and offers a true gourmet experience with wonderful seasonal dishes. They do breakfast, lunch or dinner and have an organic vegetable garden with a wildflower meadow to enjoy while you eat your meal.
The Four Horseshoes at Thornham Magna is a charming 12th-century thatched-roof pub serving delicious home-cooked food using local produce. It has the wonderful feature of a wishing well in the pub and they also have some antiques and paintings for sale. It has such a warm atmosphere and the staff is so welcoming and friendly.
The Country Store at Wyken Vineyards is one of my favorite stores in Suffolk. It’s full of beautiful things and has the most fabulous book room – I could spend hours in it. They also sell their own award winning delicious wines. I visit it often.
Without Stowupland I would not have found or held my dream job as head gardener at Columbine Hall – a truly special place that I adore.
The Saxstead Green Post Mill is a grain mill whose entire body revolves around its base. Years ago, my grandfather made a working wooden model of the mill, which he gave to the owners. It stood on the grounds of Saxstead Mill for many years for visitors to enjoy.