The Farmhouse Garden at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse Museum

The Farmhouse Garden at Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse Museum

A variety of gardens awaits the visitor to Union Farm, part of the Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse Museum, Norfolk.

The main Farmhouse Garden sits alongside the Victorian farmhouse and was designed and developed around 10 years ago. It was intended to be a ‘sensory garden’ with aromatic, tactile and other plants including a ‘herb wheel’. It was also intended to demonstrate how planting could be used to control pests. This original purpose has been diluted over the years and the garden now provides a pleasant green foil to the farmhouse building. The garden is domestic in scale with a large area of grass and an irregular series of planted island borders, including raised beds edged with split poles. There are a number of shrubs, including climbing roses on the farmhouse wall, bench seats and a wooden shed in the north-eastern corner which contains garden tools.

The kitchen garden at Union Farm

On another side of the Farmhouse a vegetable growing patch has been developed which is used to demonstrate grow your own techniques and different types of vegetables. To the front of the farmhouse sit two other gardens, one with a range of perennial herbs that would have been used in the farmhouse kitchen and another which houses a wide range of plants that were used in the traditional dyeing of cloth. This garden was slightly rearranged last year with new edges to the borders and with a length of low willow fencing to provide both a sense of enclosure and to discourage visitors from trampling in the beds.  The plants are regualrly used here in demonstrations of traditional dyeing.

One side of the Dyers' Garden

One side of the Dyers’ Garden

Developed in recent years by the volunteer dyers, some of the plants grown here include:

Alcea rosea varieties Helianthus annuus varieties
Alkanna tinctoria Hemerocallis varieties
Amaranthus caudatus Isatis tinctoria
Anthemis tinctoria Lythrum salicaria
Berberis vulgaris Mahonia aquifolium
Buddleja davidii Origanum majorana
Calendula officinalis cultivars Perilla frutescens
Carthamus tinctorius Phytolacca americana
Consolida ajacis Pyracantha angustifolia
Convallaria majalis Reseda luteola
Coreopsis tinctoria Rheum x hybridum
Dahlia varieties Rhus typhina
Datisca cannabina Rosa –climbing varieties
Foeniculum vulgare Rubia tinctorum
Forsythia Rudbeckia triloba
Galium verum Solidago
Genista tinctoria Tagetes patula cultivars

Other posts in this series:

From Grand entrance to Grand Central at Norfolk Museum

Gypsies, tramps and thieves: garden where poor once trod at Norfolk Museum

Cottage Garden recreates 1930’s at Norfolk Museum

Old Workhouse Garden a wildlife oasis at Norfolk Museum

Unique Heritage Gardens at Norfolk Museum

Old School Gardener

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