Former Fairhaven manager and Head Gardener, George Debbage has masterminded the first phase of the project, the restoration of a candelabra primula bed. Work has included stabilising the dyke edge, which has eroded over a number of years due to the incursion of high tides. Planting up of the bed began on Friday 27 March.
|George Debbage (seated) with Ian Guest, Fairhaven Head Gardener|
George explained: “The bed that I have been restoring was in fact the job that I was given on my first day here, 13 March 1963. It was a freezing cold day and the Head Gardener sent me down into the garden to weed the bed. After a while I realised that I was the only gardener out and about. The rest of them were doing jobs indoors, because it was so cold, and sent the novice into the West Garden to see what he was made of!”
“I am very pleased that Louise has invited me back to help on this project. This was the more formal part of Lord Fairhaven’s woodland garden, closest to South Walsham Hall, where he lived. Visitors in May will start to see the fruits of our work, as the candelabra primulas come into flower.”
Louise Rout, Fairhaven Garden manager said: “We have really valued George’s knowledge and expertise as we begin our West Garden restoration project. Our initial work has been supported by a grant from New Anglia LEP and ongoing funding will come from garden entry gift aid donations. We will gradually restore the area, as funds allow, over the next three to four years.”
|Renovated bed Fairhaven West Garden, ready for planting 27 March 2015|
Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden is at South Walsham, nine miles east of Norwich, signposted off A47 at B1140 junction, t. 01603 270449, www.fairhavengarden.co.uk.
The garden is open daily all year 10am to 5pm (closed Christmas Day and closes 4pm during the winter), also open Wednesdays until 9pm from May to the end of August. Entry is £6.20 adult, £5.70 concessions and £3.65 child (under 5 free). Free entry to tearoom, gift shop and plant sales.
There is wheelchair access throughout the garden, including a Sensory Garden and plus accessible boat trips (additional charge). Visitors requiring special facilities are advised to telephone in advance, mobility scooters available.
Dogs are welcome on leads; small charge to cover poop scoop.