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Garden Visit | Holm House and Pykards Hall, Suffolk

Country gardens in Suffolk

Our day takes us to two gardens in the area around historic Bury St Edmunds, just over an hour’s train ride from London. It begins with a visit to Holm House, recently featured in The English Garden magazine. Queen Anne in style, Holm House is actually a recent build (2007), with gardens originally designed by Suffolk-based Janey Auchincloss and then extended and adjusted since 2016 by our hosts Rebecca and Phil Shelley, with the addition of a beautiful two-acre lake and island and a wildflower garden. Mature trees have been retained including clipped holm oaks, shrubs and curvaceous cypress hedging, that all lend structure. The Shelleys have also added an ornamental kitchen garden with an impressive greenhouse – Phil holds sway over the decorative netted fruit and vegetable cages while Rebecca tends her cutting garden, where roses, peonies and lilies abound. Other features include a woodland walk, winter garden, parterre, mixed borders and a Mediterranean courtyard.

After lunch at a country pub, we drive to Grade II listed Pykards Hall, where our hosts Clive and Louise Drayton will greet us. The gardens surrounding this historic, timber-framed house have been redesigned over the past six years by landscape architect John DeJardin, with some exciting flourishes. As well as moving some trees and planting more he has created a spiral mound and an amphitheatre. There is a glasshouse overlooking a raised vegetable parterre, whilst a loggia looks over the west-side pond, part of a medieval moat and now a series of large ponds. Clive and Louise’s company Italian Terrace, which designs and makes beautiful Italian terracotta pots, is run from here and there are many examples around the garden. Louise will kindly run through a pot planting demonstration for us before afternoon tea in the garden.

You might like to combine this trip with the visit to Tilbury Hall and Denston Hall on the Suffolk/Essex borders, which takes place the following day on 8 June: Tilbury Hall and Denston Hall

This event has been organised by the Garden Museum’s Garden Visits committee. We recommend you read our Garden Visits Attendee Charter and Refund/exchange policy before booking your place on any of our Garden Visits. All tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable.

Image: Holm House © Richard Bloom Pykards Hall © Derek St Romaine