|Gooderstone Gardens Norfolk|
The thumbnails below are linked to larger pictures
The Gooderstone Water Gardens, located in West Norfolk close to Swaffham, consists of six acres of garden with: A natural trout stream, four ponds, waterways, thirteen bridges, mature trees & shrubs, colourful borders, nature trail, Kingfisher hide, grass paths also a Tea room & Plant Sales
Billy Knights, a retired farmer began designing and creating the Water Gardens in 1970 in his 70th year. The site was a damp meadow which became too wet for cattle to graze. Mr Knights' son jokingly suggested he should have a water garden, which prompted him to draw out plans (on the back of a piece of wallpaper) and he soon had machines digging out the ponds and waterways.
He worked on his garden with love and enthusiasm until he died aged 93. For over 20 years the gardens had been open to the public. Both Billy and his wife Florence loved their gardens and sharing them with others. With this in mind and as a tribute to her parents Coral Hoyos began restoration in April 2002. Having been unattended and closed for five years, the Gardens had become quite derelict. However they were re-opened again in June 2003, with a new car park, refurbished tea-room / gallery, a toilet for disabled people and an 8 acre nature trail.
There has since been the addition of a bird hide and a new plant sales area, bamboo grove, scented arbour and rustic roundhouse. To help you find your way round, the bridges are numbered and when you have walked enough rest on one of the many benches provided, or perhaps visit the tearoom in the south-east corner where you can enjoy a relaxing cup of freshly brewed tea or coffee, soft drinks, ice-creams and delicious home made cakes.
Also to admire in late June were the sways of astrantias, lambsears, astilbes, with white achilleas in the background. This is a peaceful and refreshing garden where huge weeping willows, birch trees are mirrored in the clear ponds.