Summer Colour within the Inspiring Gardens of Helmingham Hall

One summer, tucked away in a leafy-green corner of the Suffolk countryside, we discovered one of our favourite walled gardens to date. Helmingham Hall Gardens; a beautiful moated manor house with the unique feature of a moated walled garden too. This place has been a firm favourite of ours for many years now, since 2017 to be precise – which is when I captured these photos. From our very first visit to our most recent, I always come home feeling incredibly inspired.

Driving down the long drive, a glimpse of the beautiful manor house can be seen in the distance, hidden intermittently from view by the magnificent old oak trees. Arriving, we walked up past the paddocks and through the converted the old stable, where we stepped out into a cobbled courtyard of little shops selling sweet treats, plants, and arts and crafts. Being eager to explore the gardens first, we paused for a moment to find our bearings before we tiptoed past the tea rooms filled with the sound of happy chatter and followed the moss-lined paving stones through the coach house lawn. Sheltered by a small avenue of trees, this space was quiet and secluded – vastly different to the old stable house just moments behind us. Walking through an archway in the large hedging, we discovered – the rose garden!

Beaming with sunshine and life, the rose garden was rich profusion of colour – the wildlife-friendly informal planting and the heady scent of ’Summer’; a sanctuary for quiet contemplation and savouring the moment. The rose beds, almost overflowing in the peak of summer, created a romantic space and led us in circles through the glorious fragrances of all the roses. As I recognised the many David Austin Roses that have filled the pages of my garden wish-lists and Pinterest boards for years, we took a seat on an old concrete bench and spent some time savouring the peace amongst our beautiful surroundings, the abundance of flowers encouraging my desire to create a little rose garden for us to enjoy at home.

Walking through the Apple trees, over the moat and into the walled garden, you will discover an abundance of colourful blooms; from towering Verbascum, Lupins and Foxglove, steel arches adorned with trailing roses, to herbaceous borders overspilling with the fragrance of Lavender and Salvia. There’s a special quality to an English garden during this time of year and this spectacular walled garden is certainly generous with sharing the magic of its summer flowers.

These magical gardens have a truly special place in my heart. I’ve had photos of myself taken during pregnancy, then with my newborn and a year later with my toddler (that is, until the pandemic temporarily placed our family tradition of summertime wanders through these fairytale gardens on hold) – it’s been the backdrop to some meaningful moments in my life. E will be 6 years old at the end of Summer and to think of her independently exploring these gardens, making memories she may well remember when she’s older is helping to soften those two years of limited adventures. E loves the stories I tell her of our past adventures and often requests to see photos of herself at the places we revisit together. I’m almost too giddy with excitement in my anticipation of finally being able to visit again this summer.

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