13th May 2017
Twenty eight members attended, and were taken on a guided tour, by Head Gardener, Ian. with information on the history of the gardens, the two types of candelabra primulas - P. japonica, which hybridised to give red and pink varieties, whereas the other gives rise to pale ones and other colours. They have self- seeded along the banks of the waterways. Of particular note was the Viburnum mariesii, with it's layers of pale blooms in the light shade.
The massive oak trees mentioned in the Domesday Book were examined, also the extensive quantities of Skunk Cabbage (Lysichiton ?) and some very large plants of Gunnera manicata.
Ian explained that there were issues with the tidal nature of the water level - 5hrs after high tide at Gt. Yarmouth. Extra high tides had required digging out to raise levels and the use of board walks.
Willow and hazel were coppiced for various uses in the garden. They made good plant support structures and were used in a layer under soil to create new paths over boggy areas, since the continuous covering of moisture delayed disintegration for some years.
The vast quantities of fallen leaves were collected in December, turned out into piles after some months, then the coarse material sieved out, before leaving until the following year when it is fine and ready for sale.
Boat trips were available, and it was encouraging to note that up to two dogs could be taken on board.
The Plant Sale was also managed by a few other members who did not attend the walk. There were plenty of nice plants, thanks to the time and energy of members who kindly brought them along for fund-raising. There was a continuous trickle of customers throughout the period and a total of approximately £100 was raised. In addition, two of Len Speller's Acer collection, and a couple of the large pots were sold. ( The proceeds from these go back to Pat Speller.)