Bloom's daughter will open garden
CELIA WIGG The daughter-in-law of acclaimed Norfolk nurseryman Alan Bloom will follow in the family footsteps on Sunday by opening her garden to the public for the first time.
The daughter-in-law of acclaimed Norfolk nurseryman Alan Bloom will follow in the family footsteps on Sunday by opening her garden to the public for the first time.
Liz Bloom's home, at Sundown, Hall Road, Roydon, near Diss, is less than a mile from Bressingham where Alan Bloom pioneered the use of island beds to display perennial plants at his world famous Dell Garden.
But he died this year without having the chance to see the new Bell Bed which is the latest addition at Sundown, and makes a fitting tribute to his memory.
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The garden was originally developed from a typical farm field by Mrs Bloom and her husband Rob – Alan's older son – who died in a car accident in 1995. She gradually took over its maintenance, and the one-acre plot is now densely planted with a wide variety of unusual perennials, shrubs, trees, conifers and grasses.
Among the prized specimens are big blowsy rhododendons whose vibrant colours make a striking contrast against the greens of a woodland backdrop that includes contorted hazel and paper and snake-bark maples together with native beech, ash, sycamore and cherry.
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"When I went to work at Blooms and met Rob I only just knew a wallflower from a gladioli," Mrs Bloom cheerfully admitted.
"I suppose I started getting interested in trees as I learnt more about the plant names. People used to ask me what the trees were and I didn't know!"
Brother-in-law Adrian is an expert on conifers and heathers, and thanks to the Blooms' influence, and a City and Guilds course at Easton College, Norwich, her love of plants and garden design grew rapidly as visitors will be able to see for themselves.
"I had a party last summer and everyone was so full of praise for the garden, my partner Graham Boutell said why not open it for charity," Mrs Bloom explained.
"Obviously I am a bit apprehensive, but Graham's been doing all the advertising and organisation and has not let me worry about it. I'm just hoping it's a nice day."
Viewing is from 11am-5pm on Sunday, and admission is £2.50 adults, accompanied children free. Teas and cakes will be on sale, as well as a few plants. Proceeds are for the National Garden Scheme which supports a number of charities.
The garden will also open to the public on Sunday, July 24.