Book explores county’s heritage

Polly Burns and Nigel Surry have written a book on Suffolk walled gardens. ANL-150302-223811009
Polly Burns and Nigel Surry have written a book on Suffolk walled gardens. ANL-150302-223811009

A new book produced by a trio of keen horticulturists explores the beauty of Suffolk’s walled gardens.

Polly Burns and Nigel Surry, of Melford Road, Sudbury, have spent the last 10 years researching the county’s walled gardens to produce a comprehensive 80-page guide.

With the help of co-editor Tina Ranft, who specialises in book design, the Suffolk Gardens Trust members hope the book will inspire readers to learn more about the variety of walled gardens that Suffolk has to offer.

Polly, who was the Suffolk Gardens Trust chairman for five years, said the team of recorders undertook detailed surveys into the 40 gardens which reflect a varying degree of lifestyles.

She said the idea was inspired by a lack of existing books on Suffolk’s walled gardens and a degree thesis by Jenny Broster into the subject.

“It was just a realisation that there are these walled gardens that indicate an incredible way of life,” said the 72-year-old.

The book includes 11 ordinance survey maps, over 50 colour photographs, eight case studies and a list of the county’s 40 gardens.

Polly said the book advises owners on revitalising their gardens in the 21st century, as well as inspiring younger enthusiasts to join the Suffolk Gardens Trust, which currently has 240 members.

“The role of the association is promoting the knowledge and understanding of landscapes to the next generation of young people who will grow up understanding their surroundings,” she said.

“We need more volunteers and that’s something we hope to get from the publication of the book.”

In keeping with the local theme, the book has been published by Lavenham Press and the order forms printed by Delta Print in Sudbury.

The production of the book was aided by several grants, totalling £2,500, from Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust, Alfred Williams Educational Trust and the Scarfe Charitable Trust.

“The feedback we have had from grant givers has been really good,” added Polly. “What better endorsement can you have.”