Talbot manor and Begonia masoniana
This is a follow-up post from the begonia posts a few weeks ago when I mentioned Begonia masoniana, the iron cross begonia brought into western cultivation by Maurice Mason of Talbot Manor in Norfolk. As I have been scanning slides I found some I took, presumably in the early 1990s, of Talbot Manor. The garden was used by the University of East Anglia as a botanic garden and I believe there were plans for the university to use the garden after his death but these were not followed up due to the distance from Norwich. I do not know what became of the garden and house.
But these two shots of the greenhouse give an insight into the wealth of fabulous plants, rather traditional of ‘great houses’ with the waxy, red flowers of Lapageria rosea below. This fabulous evergreen from Chile can be grown outside in mild, moist areas but is usually best in a shady greenhouse and needs an acid soil. On the opposite wall is Asparagus plumosus, always grown in old houses for foliage to go with gardenias and orchids for corsages.
But I was pleased to see in this shot that on the left is a potful of Begonia masoniana, among a mass of exotics.
My brother and sister in law lived there in a flat above one of the big potting sheds.around 93-95 ,if I remember correctly the gardeners name was Rodger. I remember that there were orange and lemon trees and massive cacti also what felt like a secret passageway to the main road. And they also used to get small gatherings of people coming through to have a look. And Rodger told us that in one day just after the war after charging a small entrance fee they made over two pounds. Beautiful beautiful place to experience living there myself with my brother and sister in law for about six months. I took my future wife to see it in about 2001 and sadly it was in development for something else but it had all gone 🙁🙁damn shame😔😔😔
Thank you for writing. That must have been a wonderful experience living there. It is sad that the garden has disappeared now.