WP_20150714_14_08_43_ProThe second half of the recent Blickling volunteers and staff day out involved a trip to nearby Corpusty Mill, a garden developed over many years by its owner Roger Last and his late brother John since 1965. The RHS says of it:

‘Water is used extensively (ponds, streams, a small lake and a river) and there are strong architectural elements, garden buildings or follies, including a vast flint wall with the heads of Roman emperors, a Gothic arch and window, a grotto (with four chambers), a ruined tower, a classical pavilion and stainless steel spire. The planting is knowledgeable, varied and controlled. Most visitors come away quite amazed by the beauty and ingenuity of what they have seen.’

I must admit to being blown away by the thoughtful, clever and sensitive design and the sheer beauty of this five acre garden laid out in three distinct parts.  The main and more complex layout is on an intimate scale near to the house and there are two landscaped meadows.  Each area has its own character and atmosphere. A recent Country Life article comments:

‘Although the garden’s buildings and plantings are very varied, all are governed by three general ideas. First, the brothers felt it was important to manage visual effects ‘with some restraint’, thus hedges and borders were positioned so that only one building showed at a time. Next, to mitigate the possible dullness of an essentially flat site, they created innumerable changes of level, most of which were only modest, but, as Mr Last points out: ‘Even a few feet can make a huge difference.’ Finally, they wanted to create marked changes of mood, so some areas are open and light-filled, but others are densely planted and shaded.’

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All I can say is that ‘it works’- a sensitively designed and fantastic blend of planting, statuary, humourous features and attention to detail.

Further information:

Corpusty Mill Garden website

Country Life article 2014

Old School Gardener