Despite the inclement weather forecast, an intrepid group of four Group Members turned out for this visit to Holm House, which unfortunately clashed with a Plant Fair at East Ruston Old Vicarage. Nevertheless, we were in for a treat!
The family moved here four years ago, and the magnificent ‘old’ house was only built eleven years ago. We entered up a long, gravelled drive, and in the middle of the turning circle was a splendid formal pond with fountains, flanked by well-trimmed holm oaks (Quercus ilex).
The owner, Rebecca Shelley, gave us a guided tour of their 10-acre garden. The formal gardens surrounding the house were well planted incorporating several fine pieces of statuary, which were elegantly positioned.
A recent project has been the building of a 2-acre lake made of puddled clay with an island, already home to a family of Canada geese & mallard ducks. The lake is now stocked with trout. Surrounding the lake is a beautiful wildflower meadow, full of colour from poppies, oxeye-daisies and the rare bee orchid, (Ophrys apifera).
Rebecca has a splendid area near the house for growing cut flowers, complete with greenhouse. Husband Phil showed us his wonderful vegetable garden, most of which was under a net cage. The vegetables matched his military background, according to his wife, being positioned in very neat, well-spaced rows!
The family cat pretended to be uninterested but followed us round the entire garden! The peacock was always to be seen, usually looking down on us from up high, his mate being occupied sitting on her eggs. Wild birds seen recently included a marsh harrier, a Schedule 1 listed bird on the Wildlife and Countryside Act.
Unlike other parts of Suffolk that day, the weather managed to stay dry as we were entertained afterwards with lovely refreshments.