Ringstead Open Gardens set for blaze of colour

PUBLISHED: 13:36 27 June 2014 | UPDATED: 13:36 27 June 2014

Melanie Hutchinson in Bridget Crowfoot's garden at Ringstead. Picture: Chris Bishop

Melanie Hutchinson in Bridget Crowfoot's garden at Ringstead. Picture: Chris Bishop


Villagers are staging their annual open gardens on Sunday, with 11 opening their gates to the public.

There’s also an exhibition featuring the work of six artists, a foliage festival and quilt exhibition at St Andrews Church, a plant sale, lunches and teas.

Bridget Crowfoot’s garden is among those which will be open. The sprawl of beds is ablaze with colour - despite the ravages of rabbits, moles, french partridges and Bertie, the border terrier.

“The great thing is if you’ve got a large garden, you can get away with murder,” she said. “I just let things go.

“There are so many flowers to see I hope people won’t notice the weeds tucked away.”

Organiser Melanie Hutchinson said more than 50 volunteers had been helping to get the village ready for the event.

“People really enjoy the day in the village,” she said. “Everyone says it’ss uch a wonderful day because we all get together. People like being part of it and it’s a tradition now.”

Sunday’s event is the 37th Ringstead Open Gardens. The event, which some believe was Norfolk’s first open gardens, has become an institution, drawing hundreds to the picturesque village at the foot of the chalk downs.

Down at the village hall, an art exhibition is open tomorrow, Sunday and Monday (10am - 5pm). It features works by Sally Anne Fitter, Bryan Harfood, Helga Joergens, David Lendrum, Barbara King and Cass Wedd.

There are sweeping landscapes, still life, floral paintings, surreal portraits and haunting studies of nearby Holme Beach, with cards of some works also available.

St Andrews, which dominates the horizon as you approach the village from the Sedgeford road, has a foliage festival, where the exotic meets familiar fronds amid the pews. The Norman church is also hung with colourful quilts by Caroline Richardson and Sue Moffat.

Gardens will be open from 11am. Lunches will be served at Hillside from 12 - 2pm (call 01485 525494 to book) and teas at East End Farm from 1 - 5pm, with music from the Springwood Big Band and plant, cake, bric-a-brac stalls and a blacksmith.

Admission to all 11 gardens is £3, proceeds to St Andrews Church.

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