A rarity: free to enter garden kept in prime condition. The sign appears beside the A 12 as soon as you leave Farnham, just before the turning for Aldeburgh.
Though it’s a busy route, especially in June with fine weather and the Aldeburgh Festival drawing the traffic, the moment you leave the trunk road you’re in a different world. A single track road leads past a farm to the turning into the car park. Plenty of space for all, and immediately there is a display of antique garden furniture and sculpture.
A step through the gate finds the nursery directly ahead or the garden behind its tall hedges to left. On a domestic scale there would be several “rooms” though here they are more like ballrooms: large areas of grass or herbaceous border, mellow walls, a circular pond and wisteria walks. Anywhere could keep your attention; each space has its special vista yet all are interlinked by grass or paved paths.
If your interest is garden furniture you can see it in the appropriate setting rather than in showrooms; if it is plants you can see how they are grown. There is a self-service tea and coffee provision in a summerhouse so you can make up your mind at leisure.
Visitors with mobility problems will find helpful members of staff available. I was politely asked if I would mind parking a little further from a vehicle with a passenger in need of a wheelchair – this was as much to reduce risk to my car as to assist the passenger. I saw her several times later being taken to view the plants she wished to buy. The staff members was extremely considerate.
It’s a place to delight in: well-displayed plants for sale, large greenhouse areas for house plants and ornaments, everything with clear signage, and when you have finished your purchases will be carefully packed for transport. Be aware, though, it is closed on Mondays.
Afterwards, what better place to go than Aldeburgh? Fishermen in beach-side huts with a fresh catch at very reasonable prices, a range of cafes and restaurants, not to mention some of the best ice cream nortth of Italy. It adds up to a splendid day, even more so when there’s a free music event near the Moot Hall or you have a concert to include or just a visit to the church with its memorial window to Benjamin Britten: to have both – a concert in the church – was a bonus.