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A passion for gardening

PUBLISHED: 14:42 09 June 2015 | UPDATED: 14:42 09 June 2015

The gardens at Drinkstone Park.

The gardens at Drinkstone Park.


Christine and Michael Lambert are inviting all to come and enjoy their stunning and tranquil Drinkstone garden as part of the National Garden Scheme. Amy Gallivan asked them why they enjoy it so much

Drinkstone ParkDrinkstone Park

It has been a labour of love for an avid gardening pair who have transformed their three acres into a beautiful haven for all to enjoy in a secluded spot in Drinkstone near Bury St Edmunds.

Christine and Michael Lambert have created their garden at their Drinkstone Park B&B business, over the past 11 years from simple pastures and dotted concrete driveways to a sanctuary for both wildlife and their guests.

“The garden is special to us because although there were gardens here as part of the Drinkstone Park mansion, which was sadly demolished in 1950, when we came here, the part of the original gardens we have were simply pasture dotted with concrete driveways,” said Christine.

“Except for all the beautiful mature tree we have planned and planted the garden from scratch,” she added.

The beautiful gardens at Drinkstone parkThe beautiful gardens at Drinkstone park

The green-fingered couple now open their garden for all to enjoy as part of the National Garden Scheme which they have been doing for the past two years after they were approached on a village open day.

Guests can enjoy herbaceous boarders as they wander through the Lambert’s tranquil paths, pause at the wildlife and koi pond and meander through the woodland and floral areas.

Christine says gardening runs in both her and husband’s past with over 125 years’ of history between them, she said: “We were both born with gardening in our blood.

“My grandfather was Leonard Harbutt who had a nursery in Wickhambrook and my father was the late Ken Harbutt from Rougham Hall Nurseries who was a nurseryman and plant breeder,” Christine said.

Drinkstone ParkDrinkstone Park

“He specialised in delphiniums and was the holder of a national collection. He bred a beautiful white delphinium which he named after me, delphinium ‘Christine Harbutt’ and we have several large plants growing in our garden,” she commented.

Christine’s dad attended the major RHS events and won numerous medals and it is clear that Christine was inspired from an early age as she has continued to grow her passion for flora and fauna.

“One is probably closest to life itself in the garden; it is the place to find the true meaning of your life and to put things into perspective,” she said.

And as part of the NGS, both Christine and Michael are looking forward to having visitors come and enjoy their garden as both describe it ‘as a reward in itself’ to allow others to admire all their hard work.

“We have for the last five years been offering bed and breakfast at Drinkstone, those that stay with us have the full use of the gardens,” said Christine.

“Guests will comment on the peace and tranquillity; this is also felt by our open day visitors – they will also comment on how much work is involved in maintaining the gardens but we don’t see it as work of course,” she added.

The NGS has donated more than £45 million to charity since its foundation in 1927 and in addition, individual gardens have put forward more than £4 million to other small donations or directly to local charities of their choice.

The NGS open days at Drinkstone Park will take place on Sunday, June 14, Sunday, July 5 and Sunday, July 19 from 1pm-5pm.

There will be homemade teas, refreshments, parking available and arrangements can be made to suit groups.Admission costs £3.50 with children free. n

For further details telephone: 01359 272513 or email: or visit:


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