Austrians seek the art of gardening
23 August 2008 06:37
It is a land famous for its classical
waltzes, mountainous terrain, castles, yodellers and monosyllabic
actor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
|A garden enthusiast from Austria admiring
blooms at Plovers Hill, Strumpshaw. Picture: Steve Adams
But it seems that Austria is
lacking one thing - the knack of gardening.
And so the
central European nation has turned to some of Norfolk's most
picturesque and lush gardens to help develop its horticultural
For the last week, 11 Austrian flower and plant
lovers have been visiting gardens across the county to pick up tips
on how to improve their own pieces of greenery back
Yesterday the group spent an hour in the surrounds of a
wonderfully pruned and cared-for private garden at Plovers Hill in
Owners James and Jan Saunt were thrilled to show
off their immaculately kept lawn, mulberry tree and colourful
collection of pink dahlias, hostas and South African honey
The tour was organised by Austrian garden designer
Petra Gmainer who fell in love with Norfolk gardens two years ago
while on holiday and then read about Plovers Hill in The English
She said: “At the moment gardening in
Austria is only really starting now. We just do not have the
gardening culture that England and Norfolk has.
gives us all good ideas for our gardens and we have also enjoyed
buying plants and flowers for back home.”
Austrians may struggle to create their own corner of Norfolk in
their gardens as their homeland's soil is heavy and full of clay
compared to East Anglia's lighter and more fertile soil.
is the Austrians' second tour to Norfolk and the gardens visited are
featured in the Norfolk National Gardens open scheme.
Saunt, who spends up to 15 hours a week looking after his Plovers
Hill garden, said: “It is very, very pleasing to see that our
gardens are being enjoyed beyond the country.”
week-long visit to Norfolk, the Austrians, who stayed in Wells and
go back home today, also enjoyed the gardens at Blickling, Felbrigg
and Holme Hale halls, Pensthorpe Nature Reserve, and the Peter
Beales Roses nursery.
For details of gardens and nurseries
involved in the Norfolk National Gardens open scheme, visit