PGPT351 (left)
Date: 1850s
Source: History of the Norfolk and Norwich Horticultural Society (1929)
PGPT353 (right)
The illustration of chrysanthemums is taken from J.C. Loudon’s Encylopedia of Gardening (1850), a very popular book which Henry Trevor must have known. Henry Trevor exhibited and won prizes in the Chrysanthemum shows held by the N & N HS
Henry Trevor joined the N & N HS in the 1850s even before he started to create the Plantation garden. The society was founded in 1829, and early objectives seem as much charitable as horticultural. Members wanted ‘to raise the moral character of the poorer classes of the community’ and by presenting small prizes (medals, or a spoon or 16 shillings) to encourage them ‘to make the most of their small plots’ and reap ‘The Reward of Industry’ – the vegetables and flowers shown in the vignette. In 1889 and 1892 the Heigham HS held shows in the ‘charming and picturesque grounds’ of the Plantation.


PGPT019 and 021
Date: 1890s
Source: photograph taken by John Gavin. PGPT003 shows an enlarged detail of this photograph.
It was taken from the Italian terrace looking North, from a point slightly lower than in PGPT002. The plantings are so similar in these 2 photographs that it is tempting to think they come from the same set, but there are differences, e.g. a ladder propped against the Palm house in PGPT002 does not appear here. Because the distance from the flower beds is less, it has been posssible to identify some of the plants ( ) e.g. the echeveria which edge the long bed on the left of the lawn.
Date: 1890s
Source: as PGPT019
This detail of the Gavin photograph enables identification of some plants, e.g. Albizia and Ailanthus (tree of heaven) on the left.
Date: 1920s
Source: Green family album
The path on the left has been grassed over to enlarge the lawn for a tennis court. The ivy on the terrace is very overgrown, and so are the plants on the rockworks. There is a structure which was described as an umpire’s stand at the top of the rockworks on the left. When the ‘Gothic Alcove’ was being reconstructed in 2009 an enlargement of the area where it stands to the left revealed only that it was densely covered with ivy.h

George Green liked to use the garden for events during his occupancy, but there is no evidence that he was interested in gardening!

Date: early 2000s
Source: photograph by volunteer
The label of this plant states: “This Hebe has a direct connection with Queen Victoria. She gave a sprig from her wedding bouquet to the wife of the Bishop of Norwich in 1840. It was propagated successfully, and our plant is a daughter of the hebe which flourishes in the Bishop’s garden today”.

Historians have been rude enough to dispute this claim, made on behalf of a number of plants in different bishops’ gardens, by saying that in fact myrtle, not hebe, was the plant in the bouquet, and that it was Queen Victoria’s daughter, not the queen herself, who carried myrtle in her wedding bouquet. However, we like the original story.

Date: 1990s
Source: photograph by volunteer
At the top of the rockworks are two large lumps of clinker, each at the head of ‘steps’ down which a trickle of water could flow.

Clinker from the gasworks was used by Henry Trevor as a cheap substitute for the volcanic rock which was advised as desirable for Victorian rockworks.

Marj Wilson designed a planting for the elevation which included ferns and cordyline. In the background can be seen one of the copper beeches which Henry Trevor planted.

Date: c.2001
Source: photograph by volunteer
One Sunday a visitor to the garden remarked that we were not growing a palm in the Palm house. a few weeks later he returned with the gift of a trachycarpus fortunei which has flourished in this sheltered position.
Date: early 2000s
Source: photograph by volunteer
In the foreground of this picture of the long west bed beside the main lawn can be seen part of the magnificent display of dahlias planted there for a year or two. Unfortunately they were discovered by a muntjac deer which arrived (probably from Earlham cemetery) and ate them. We did not want to encourage visitations by deer, so abandoned the idea of dahlias!

In the background can be seen the rustic bridge and glazed ‘shed’

Date: 2004
Source: photograph by volunteer
Red, white and blue are the colours used for this bedding scheme on the upper lawn, with a banana tree giving height in the centre.
Date: September 2004
Source: photograph by volunteer
The serving table and chairs on the right show that this photograph was taken on a Sunday during preparations for serving teas. The summer bedding is still in full flower around the trachycarpus fortunei, which is considerably smaller than it would be 4 years later (cf PGPT237).
Date: April 2005
Source: photograph by volunteer
The magnolia on the upper lawn.
Date: March 2006
Source: photograph by volunteer
Rock works were a very popular feature of Victorian gardens. Volcanic rock like tufa was considered the most desirable material, but, if this could not be obtained, clinker, a waste product from gasworks was an acceptable substitiute. Henry Trevor probably obtained his clinker from the works on Kett’s Hill, where the same material was used extensively in the construction of other gardens.

Cordylines can be seen in PGPT002, planted lower on the rockworks.

Date May 2006
Source Photograph by volunteer
A typical sight of volunteers (Dubravka, Janet and Jill) at work on a regular Tuesday morning. Of interest is the tree fern, donated by a visitor to the garden. It was decided to accept the gift, although there is no evidence that tree ferns were planted in the garden in the 19c. They were a very popular plant in Victorian gardens – Heligan has many examples. Unfortunately the very cold winter 2010/11 killed this specimen.

The ‘blind arcading’ built into the terrace wall behind the volunteer workers is a good illustration of the ecclesiastical appearance of many structures in the garden. Below the arcading is a niche which resembles nothing so much as a ‘holy water stoup’ – an unlikely choice for an ardent Baptist!

Date: 2006
Source: photograph by volunteer
This photograph shows how attractive the rockworks can look. Photographs from the 1980s (PGPT387) and 1990s (PGPT370) illustrate earlier periods, and PGPT214 gives a description of the building materials used.

Water was laid on to trickle down the ‘steps’ which descend from the lump of clinker at the top, just to the right of the cordyline.

Date: c.2006
Source: photograph by volunteer
The lower lawn in full summer bloom. Visible are Geranium ‘Rozanne’, Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ and Heuchera. In the distance the summerhouse can be seen at the top of the italian terrace.
Date: April 2007
Source: photograph by volunteer
Visitors enjoying the spring sunshine and the winter/spring bedding as they sit in front of the rockworks.
Date July 2007
Source Photograph by volunteer
This view is of the South East corner of the main lawn. Cf PGPT083 for the story of the tree ferns and the architecture of the wall behind.
Date: August 2007
Source: Photograph by volunteer
Several beds in the garden, including 3 on the lower lawn, are planted twice each year with bedding plants in a modified version of Henry Trevor’s original ‘carpet bedding’. In 2007 this central ‘wheel bed’ had a central plant of Fatsia japonica, with spokes formed by Ophiopogon and triangles of pink and white begonias. A box edging surrounded the whole.

Henry Trevor’s aim was that there should be attractive views down from the walks he created around the sloping sides (see PGPT098 for plan with walks marked).

PGPT122 and PGPT123
Date: September 2007
Source: Photograph by volunteer
Head Gardener Marjorie Wilson is examining the notice tied onto the trunk of a clematis which climbs into a yew tree near the west end of the rustic bridge. This trunk has so large a circumference that the PGPT claims it as champion of the UK, and considers it may have been planted during Henry Trevor’s life.
PGPT131 and PGPT129
Date: October 2007
Source: Photograph by volunteer
This view was taken to show the damage done by foxes digging up the lawn in search of worms and other prey. Urban foxes are a regular nuisance in the centre of Norwich and can often be seen crossing gardens even in broad daylight. For some years they have made lairs (see PGPT130) and produced cubs in the Plantation, so that the Trust has been forced to place unsightly fences around the flower beds to preserve the plants. It would be very difficult to get rid of them without upsetting many people who (quite rightly) consider that foxes, especially the cubs, are a charming sight.

In the background is another view of the collapse of the south west bank before the retaining wall was restored (see PGPT110, 092/3)

PGPT239 and PGPT240
Date: April 2008
Source: photograph by Dubravka Yarwood
The spring bedding this year was, left: Bellis/Myosotis, right: Wallflowers/Tulips.

One of the many bedding schemes devised by the planting sub-committee twice a year and carried out by Marjorie Wilson and the volunteers who came on the twice yearly Planting Days.

PGPT088 and PGPT237
Spring 2008

Photos by Dubravka Yarwood

Date: August 2008
Source: photograph by Marjorie Wilson

A view looking North in which can be seen the summer bedding …….., the fountain, the glazed shed and the rustic bridge.
Date: August 2008
Source: photograph by Marjorie Wilson

The planting in the foreground includes Astilbes and Diksonia antartica (tree fern). In the background can be seen the wall restored in the south east corner of the lawn and the restored Gothis alcove beyond.

Date: 2008
Source: photograph by Cynthia Gibling
Marj Wilson was involved as a volunteer in the Plantation from its early days. Later she did more and more organising of planning and planting and became Head Gardener. She designed schemes for the rockworks, the beds on and around the Palm house lawn, in the entrance yard and along the West of the main lawn, as well as organising the regular planning and planting of spring and summer beds. She has made beautiful plans to help visitors identify the plants in the garden.

She has regularly shown favouritism towards those plants which originate from her native South Africa!

Date: October 2008
Source: Photograph by volunteer
The summer of 2008 was a hot one, as this picture of fruit setting on the banana plant ( ) which grew on the upper lawn testifies!

Date: October 2008


Cobea Scandens

PGPT234 and PGPT236
Date: Spring 2009
Source: photograph by Marjorie Wilson

Crocus tommasinianus and tulips in the Spring display

Date: July 2009
Source: photograph by volunteer

This view of the rockworks shows how well the planting planned by Marj Wilson and Lesley Cuneen had developed by 2009 (cf PGPT214). The prominence of ferns and cordylines echoes the taste of Victorian gardeners.

Date: May 2010
Source: photo by Cynthia Gibling

Volunteer Graham. The tulips had been cleared that morning and were destined for the compost heap!

Date: June 2011

Planting Day
The fox-deterrent fence panels laid out ready to assemble.

Date: June 2011
Source: photo by Cynthia Gibling

The Henry Trevor border at the entrance to the Garden.  Ivy cleared and summer bedding planted for the first time.

See PGPT 430 for the same view in September the same year.

Date: September 2011
Source: photo by Cynthia Gibling

The Henry Trevor border at the entrance to the Garden.

The first year it had been planted since restoration began.


July 2012

Sweet peas and pot plants beside the new trellis fence around the nursery.


July 2012


Fuschias below the palm and Jubilee planting on the island bed.



September 2012

 A new tree fern.

Date: 25 Sept 2012
Source: photograph by Cynthia Gibling

Begonia ‘Sutherlandii’ and plectranthus(?) in the restored urn located in the shelter.

Date: 30 April 2012
Source: photograph by volunteer

See Bedding Plans for details.

Date: 20 April 2012
Source: photograph by Marjorie Wilson

Muscari botryoides ‘Alba’
Euphorbia polychroma
Geranium ‘JollyBee’
Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’
Tulip ‘Dordogne’
Tulip ‘Caravelle’

Date: 9 April 2013
Source: Photo by Cynthia Gibling

Tulip ‘Show Winner’

Date: 7 May 2013
Source: Photo by Cynthia Gibling

‘Dordogne’ and ‘Shirley’s Dream’ in the circle, ‘New Design’ with wallflower, ‘Bronze Treasure’, in the rectangle beds.


Date: 22 June 2013
Source: Photo by Cynthia Gibling

Not often seen in gardens. Dictamnus is slow to establish but very long lived. Plants form a bushy, upright clump of lemon-scented, glossy green leaves. Spikes of spidery-looking mauve-pink flowers appear in early summer, rather showy in effect, and worthwhile for cutting. On still days a match held below the spike will ignite a burst of methane gas. The flowers are attractive to butterflies.

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