The pleasure grounds and walled garden at Normanby Hall are set in 300 acres of beautiful parkland and woodland. There is something for every gardener here:
- Unusual mature trees
- Amazing displays of naturalised bulbs
- Glorious herbaceous borders
- Fantastic sub-tropical bedding
- Shrub borders
- The award-winning Victorian walled kitchen garden
- The unique Christmas garden.
To view a selection of images from the gardens at Normanby visit the cultivating plants photo gallery.
The secret garden is a quiet, sun-drenched enclosed garden next to the walled garden. It is made up of four huge herbaceous borders planned to give interest throughout the year. The borders are colour-themed on the principles of the great Victorian gardener Gertrude Jekyll. They start with whites and pale blues at one end, build up to a crescendo of brilliant scarlet and flaming orange in the centre and gradually return to quieter colours at the other end.
Here you'll find unusual treasures like the striking Lobelia tupa and the lovely Nepeta subsessilis, among many others. The garden is at its best between April/May and the end of October, although there is some interest over the winter months.
The wall that forms the backdrop to the secret garden supports a range of uncommon shrubs and climbers, including Ercilla volubilis, Elsholtzia stauntonii and Ribes speciosum.
The sunken garden, on the west side of the hall is walled in Ancaster limestone. It is a peaceful rectangular space with a formal pool at its centre. Like the secret garden, this too is colour-themed, this time in soft pastels - greys, pinks, blues and whites - to complement the colour of the stone. In the formal pool, the pink waterlily, 'Escarboucle' continues the theme.
The garden is hedged on three sides with lavender - an amazing sight and smell in midsummer, and on one side by the fragrant, deep crimson rose, 'Roseraie de l' Hay'.
Beyond the sunken garden there are six beds, planted with summer bedding . Nearby is the box-edged boars head parterre, planted to reflect the Sheffield family's ownership of Normanby. The boars head forms part of the Sheffield coat of arms.
The shrub border
The border flanking the main drive to the hall is planted purely with shrubs and bulbs - a lovely sight in spring. Against a background of good evergreens, the shrubs, many of them very uncommon, form an ever-changing display throughout the seasons. In early spring, the sugar-pink flowers of the Judas Tree, Cercis siliquastrum, are a striking sight. Later, the white flower bracts of Cornus kousa var. chinensis and Viburnum plicatum 'Mariesii' take centre stage. The curious Bupleurum fruticosum and the rare Trochodendronaralioides are just two of the unusual shrubs planted here.
On the east side of the Victorian walled garden, the Christmas garden is a totally unique area, planned to be at its best in winter. It is planted with species associated with Christmas. There is a good collection of holly and ivy here, along with plants like the Christmas fern and winter bulbs. Opened by the Queen on her visit here in July 2003, this garden is a developing area, and in spite of its name is a lovely place to be at any time of year.
The Woodland Garden
A developing area behind the duckponds, the woodland garden is planted with shade-loving shurbs and perennials like camellias, Enkianthus campanulatus, Hostas and Foxgloves. It is at its best from April to June, and again in autumn as the trees put on their fine seasonal display.