Set amid the flatlands of the North Norfolk countryside is Pensthorpe Natural Park, home to one of Britain’s most radiant June gardens, finds Tania Pascoe
The song of the skylark rings out against the backdrop of a big Norfolk sky. In the vast wildflower meadows, southern marsh orchids, delicate marsh valerian and over 25 species of butterfly herald that summer is here. Covering 700 acres, Pensthorpe surrounds the River Wensum floodplains, its woodland, wetland, carr, breck and heath creating an interplay of ecosystems that teem with life. The crystal chalk waters are abundant with native crayfish and wading avocets. Midsummer marks the beginning of the Millennium Garden’s unrivalled flower show – an acre of naturalistic prairie-style planting where you can experience clouds of blossoming perennials and grasses as they dance to an orchestra of insects.
Pensthorpe’s Millennium Garden, designed by plantsman Piet Oudolf, is an important refuge for insects in the spring and summer