Garden award

The glory of the garden…everything is blooming lovely in the gardens of historic Houghton Hall and head gardener Mhari Blanchfield was given a ride in a wheelbarrow as she and her team celebrate helping to win the famous Hall, near Fakenham, a prestigious award.

The glory of the garden…everything is blooming lovely in the gardens of historic Houghton Hall and head gardener Mhari Blanchfield was given a ride in a wheelbarrow as she and her team celebrate helping to win the famous Hall, near Fakenham, a prestigious award.

It has been named as the 2007 Garden of the Year in an award sponsored by the Historic Houses Association and famous auction house, Christies.

Now in its 24th year, the award is aimed at recognising the importance of gardens with outstanding horticultural and public appeal.

Christie's International deputy chairman, Charles Cator, described Houghton Hall as a well-deserved winner.


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“The walled garden was newly designed and planted in memory of Lord Cholmondeley's grandmother, Sybil, Marchioness of Cholmondeley following her death in 1989, and it is an added attraction to one of the most architecturally significant houses in East Anglia, if not the country,” said Mr Cator. Construction work started on the Hall in 1720 after being commissioned by England's first Prime Minister, Sir Robert Walpole.

A scheme started in 1991 on the new five-acre memorial walled garden, as Lord Cholmondeley explained : “The difficulty was to create variety and interest in a flat space with no architectural or water features. However, we found the solution in a succession of 'rooms' divided by hedges so that visitors would be constantly surprised by views through narrow entrances and discover areas with very different atmosphere”.

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The award is due to be presented at the Hall in May.

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