This specialist plant centre and garden, run by Rupert and Sara Eley, is located in the beautiful Stour Valley on the border of Suffolk and Essex. The 20 acres of gardens and arboretum (open March to September or October) were originally laid out by Rupert’s great-grandfather and has many spring bulbs, topiary, a series of ponds and unusual trees and shrubs; Rupert has established the national collection of deciduous euonymus. This beautiful garden has early displays of snowdrops, magnolias, rhododendrons and camellias followed by the fritillary and wildflower meadow in full bloom. Rambling roses and hydrangeas flower during the summer and the garden can look spectacular in autumn. Please note: the grass paths can be slippery in wet weather, the ponds are not fenced and dogs are not permitted at any time. The Plant Centre, in a Victorian walled garden, sells a huge range of plants.
Facilities – at a glance
Suitable for all child ages
- Parking onsite
- Plant centre fully accessible, garden accessible only in very dry conditions - call first
- Accessible toilets
- Opening Times: Gardens open Mar-Sep 10-5. Closed Etr Sun. Plant centre open daily 10-5 (dusk if earlier). Closed Etr Sun & Xmas
Also in the Area
About The area
Suffolk is Constable country, where the county’s crumbling, time-ravaged coastline spreads itself under wide skies to convey a wonderful sense of remoteness and solitude. Highly evocative and atmospheric, this is where rivers wind lazily to the sea and notorious 18th-century smugglers hid from the excise men. John Constable immortalised these expansive flatlands in his paintings in the 18th century, and his artwork raises the region’s profile to this day.
Walking is one of Suffolk’s most popular recreational activities. It may be flat but the county has much to discover on foot – not least the isolated Heritage Coast, which can be accessed via the Suffolk Coast Path. Southwold, with its distinctive, white-walled lighthouse standing sentinel above the town and its colourful beach huts and attractive pier features on many a promotional brochure. Much of Suffolk’s coastal heathland is protected as a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and shelters several rare creatures including the adder, the heath butterfly and the nightjar. In addition to walking, there is a good choice of cycling routes but for something less demanding, visit some of Suffolk’s charming old towns, with streets of handsome, period buildings and picturesque, timber-framed houses.
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