Pick your own beautiful bouquets in country park's new garden

Jessica Ward and her mum, Claire Hornby, at Gardening Retreat, their pick your own bouquet business

Jessica Ward and her mum, Claire Hornby, at Gardening Retreat, their pick your own bouquet business at Old Buckenham Country Park - Credit: Denise Bradley

Many places offer the chance to pick your own strawberries, but a Norfolk business has opted for colourful flowers instead of fruit. 

The Old Buckenham Gardening Retreat has opened at Old Buckenham Country Park, near Attleborough, and is run by Jessica Ward and her mum Claire Hornby. 

The pair first took on the space in 2020 after chatting to park owner Ben Devlin at a parish council meeting and it launched as a vegetable garden in 2021.

Jessica Ward at Gardening Retreat, pick your own bouquet at Old Buckenham Country Park.

Jessica Ward at Gardening Retreat, pick your own bouquet at Old Buckenham Country Park - Credit: Denise Bradley

At the end of last year they decided to change direction and started growing flowers for a pick your own bouquet garden, which launched earlier this month. 

Miss Ward, 27, said: "My mum learnt about gardening from my grandad, who died in November 2020.

"He was born James Arthur Hornby but became Harriet Sprigge when she transitioned in the late 1970s. 

Claire Hornby at Gardening Retreat, wrapping the flowers at the pick your own bouquet at Old Buckenh

Claire Hornby at Gardening Retreat, wrapping the flowers at the pick your own bouquet at Old Buckenham Country Park - Credit: Denise Bradley

"Opening the garden has been part of the healing process with the grief and my mum's sister Leigh passed away in July 2021.

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"After they died, my mum went and did a few floristry courses and she did gardening professionally anyway so this lets her combine both and has helped give her a focus." 

Customers can choose from more than 25 varieties of flowers, including Sweet Williams, cornflowers and delphiniums.

Examples of the bouquets at the pick your own bouquet at Old Buckenham Country Park.

Examples of the bouquets at the pick your own bouquet at Old Buckenham Country Park - Credit: Denise Bradley

It costs £8 to fill a bucket, with 10pc off in June, and customers can get advice on what flowers go well together.

The flowers are then wrapped in paper into a beautiful bouquet and the whole garden is plastic and pesticide free. 

As it is a community garden, visitors are also free to walk around even if they are not buying. 

Flowers at Gardening Retreat, pick your own bouquet at Old Buckenham Country Park.

Flowers at Gardening Retreat, pick your own bouquet at Old Buckenham Country Park - Credit: Denise Bradley

It is located on the hill opposite the café, which overlooks the lake and offers a range of treats, and the country park is dog and bike friendly.

The country park opened in 2019 when owner Ben Devlin got permission to build on agricultural land, which he bought in 2016, and it is set over 32 acres.

The Old Buckenham Gardening Retreat is open Wednesdays and Sundays 10am until 2pm and it is cash only.