Magical and Unique Garden in West Stow Opens

Fullers Mill Garden, the enchanting and tranquil waterside and woodland garden, in West Stow opens for the season this Easter Sunday with extended opening hours every Sunday.

Situated on the banks of the River Lark, the garden combines a beautiful site of light dappled woodland with a fabulous collection of rare and unusual shrubs, perennials, lilies and marginal plants, collected over the course of 50 years by the creator of the garden Bernard Tickner MBE.

Bernard passed away last November shortly after receiving his MBE for services to wildlife conservation and horticulture and this stunning garden is a wonderful lasting memorial to him.

New for this year, as a tribute to the man who started it all, gardeners and volunteers at Fullers Mill Garden have planted an area with a mix of trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants and lilies which the garden is well known for and were one of Bernard’s favourites, complete with a memorial bench donated by The Friends of Fullers Mill Garden.

Photo by Marcus Harper

Bernard Tickner moved to Fullers Mill in 1958 and made Fullers Mill Garden from rough scrub and woodland. In 2013 the garden was gifted to Perennial, the only UK charity dedicated to helping all those who work in or are retired from horticulture, in times of need.
In making the garden, Bernard recognised that the poor soil and dry conditions at Fullers Mill Garden resembled those of the Mediterranean region and has consciously made use of plants naturally adapted to such places. 

It truly is a remarkable and unique garden where visitors can see early flowering snowdrops from Greece – Galanthus reginae-olgae, the spicy scent of Spartium in the summer, a Quercus macrolepis grown from an acorn collected from Crete, majestic displays of lilies and Euphorbia stygiana from The Azores, handsome throughout the year.

Photo by Marcus Harper

It is also a garden of big contrasts, from Mediterranean plantings in the Quandaries to the waterside plantings around the Mill Pond.
Quietly tucked away in a beautiful forest, there are lots of peaceful spots to sit, contemplate and watch the world go by. Artists can often be found in the garden along the banks of the River Lark or at the pretty footbridges over Culford stream, providing inspiration for painters and sketchers alike. The lock here was formerly one of 23 locks enabling barges to bring mainly coal from the North Sea up to Bury St Edmunds and to take corn back.

After you’ve toured the garden you can enjoy tea, coffee and delicious home-made from the Bothy. Plants propagated from the garden are available for sale and make a wonderful souvenir from your visit. 

Photo by Marcus Harper

Fullers Mill Garden is open from 1 April to 30 September on Wednesdays and Fridays from 2pm to 5pm and on Sundays from 11am-5pm. In addition, the garden hosts a number of events throughout the year including Suffolk Nurseries Plant Fair on July 15 and open days as part of the National Gardens Scheme on May 13 and October 7

Fullers Mill Garden is now an RHS Partner Garden, with RHS members entitled to free entry on Wednesday afternoons.