About the garden
Alan Gray & Graham Robeson
The garden at East Ruston Old Vicarage is unique, for its position close to the North Sea shelters it from all but the most penetrating frosts, allowing a surprising number of tender plants to flourish.
Entering the garden is akin to entering another world. Plants appear larger and more prosperous and are enhanced by large containers that in spring are bursting with an array of tulips and other bulbs. In summer, these are flamboyant with brugmansias and solanums surrounded with combinations of the familiar, the rare and the unexpected. The owners are keen to push boundaries and their experimental attitude knows no boundaries.
The garden contains many gardens within the whole. Just when you think you have seen it all, another surprise awaits around the corner. From the Exotic Garden and the Mediterranean Garden to the Desert Wash – now containing mature specimens of yuccas, puyas, dasylirions and nolinas that display their flowering scapes at dizzying heights. It is also home to the National Collection of Colchicums.
The Diamond Jubilee Walled Garden contains myriad plants attracting the hum of contented wildlife. The glasshouse is home to an ever-changing panoply of seasonal delights, from spring bulbs to auriculas and old-fashioned pelargoniums and nerines. The monumental Fruit Cage is home to cherries and berries, including special varieties that you won’t find in shops; they are too fragile.
The courtyard by the entrance to the Vicarage has been re-worked with formal paved paths and the addition of rare and interesting plants. The Tea Garden. where sheltering walls exclude the cool breezes. is an ideal place to relax and chill with a light lunch or delicious afternoon tea.