These magical gardens is the result of over 60 years of hard work preparing the soil, designing and planning beds and creating some outstanding plants. In a fascinating interview with Adrian Bloom, I learned about his family’s years at Bressingham Hall and garden with its ever changing vistas and fabulous colour, which gives pleasure to all those who visit this very special haven in the Norfolk countryside.
The Bloom family moved to Bressingham Hall shortly after the end of the second World War in 1946. It was set on an Estate which was surrounded by farmland and here there was a mixed farm, with arable, horses, cows and a single tractor. There was a walled garden to the west, and old greenhouse which housed grapevines and another area for the vegetable garden. The gardens were mostly laid to lawn and quite plain, there was a rather neglected tennis court which was seldom used and an interesting mock moat which still forms the border at the front of the house.
It it was here that Alan Bloom, Adrian’s father developed the garden at the front of the house to experiment with the creation of his idea of growing perennials in island beds.
Returning from four years abroad (including two years in the U.S.A.) in 1962, Adrian Bloom began developing more gardens, starting his own, Foggy Bottom Garden in 1967 devoted to conifers, heathers, trees and shrubs. Many of these were grown by the nursery and this group of plants became equally popular as the perennials introduced by Alan Bloom.
At this point Adrian and Robert joined the family business and it went from strength to strength, – the Blooms Nursery business went into container grown plants to supply the emerging garden centres. Mostly wholesale, the company began under the Bressingham Gardens name, a very successful mail order service. Another important aspect was Alan Bloom’s involvement with his helper Percy Piper in breeding new plants which were introduced to the public such as varieties of heucheras, crocosmia, hardy geraniums , heleniums and many others. The Blooms Nurseries started exhibiting at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show from 1965 and by the year 2000, had been awarded 26 gold medals.
In 2000, additional gardens were added by Adrian, linking them up to create a more diverse attraction to visitors, and joining the gardens together to create a Foggy Bottom Trail, leading from the entrance near the Steam Museum to the furthest and lowest end of Foggy Bottom. Today, although changes are still constant, the newer gardens are maturing; new planting designs and plants are being tried. Heritage and novelty exist together with the number of distinct varieties now in the region of 8000.
The creative side of the family’s genes have shown to be in full force still, with Adrian’s son Richard Bloom recently having been awarded the title of International Garden Photographer of the Year at Kew Gardens, beating 23,000 entries – an amazing achievement. If you’d like to look at his amazing work, just click here.
In recent years Adrian Bloom and the company decided to develop an ancient barn next to Bressingham Hall as a venue for weddings and other celebrations and this went hand in hand with the letting of the house as holiday accommodation.
Many of the original pieces of furniture were taken abroad when the family moved abroad to Canada in the 40s. Bridget Bloom and her assistant Jill have taken great care to create the elegant interior of Bressingham Hall making sure it has had the personal Bloom imput. She sourced antique furniture and has made the house so warm and inviting. So now it’s available for weekends and week long stays, enabling guests to stroll through the extensive gardens next to the house and after the gates close, they will have the gardens all to themselves – a gardens lover’s dream come true!
So if you would like to experience this unique holiday setting and to see the gardens from you bedroom window first thing in the morning and as the evening sun goes down, just click on the image below and it will take you through to more images of this fabulous country house.
Sleeps 18 | Bedrooms: 7 | From £1,500
If you’d like to check the availability of Bressingham Hall, just click here.
Whether you are looking to book a gorgeous garden holiday now, a self catering break for half-term or the summer holidays or a weekend away in the autumn, Mulberry Cottages will have something for you. Seaside cottages, pet-friendly holiday cottages, short break cottages or Easter cottages, too. We’ve created a page in our Inspire Me section – Your Garden is Open where you can stay in the grounds of a beautiful garden which opens to the public. When the gates are shut you can call it your own.
If you would like a copy of our brochure for some getaway ideas, just click on the image below