Rain fails to dampen spirits at annual village event

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Rain could not dampen the smiles of the ten owners who took part in a Gardens of North Creake event over the weekend.

Visitors descended on the village to sample gardens that ranged from a re-created Victorian parterre garden in the grounds of a former rectory - a type of formal garden popular in 15th century France - to smaller, traditional cottage gardens.

In between was the garden of a former Methodist Chapel, traditional cottage gardens, a garden with a windmill - no longer working - and that of the former village bakehouse, or bakery.

The open weekend was masterminded by Mrs Jane Faire with Alan and Doreen Crisp, Barbara Lynn, Katharine Williamson and James Turner.

Mrs Faire, who lives in the former bakehouse, produced a garden that was a riot of colour.

It also had a special extra attraction on display - a stoup, a 13th century basin for holy water - believed to have come from a nearby abbey which was discovered when a wall in her garden was demolished.

Its discovery was perhaps not that surprising.

In the 18th and 19th century, material from old buildings was often vandalised to build newer properties.

A large quantity of the material used to build a nearby Roman fort at Branodunum, east of Brancaster, some 800 years ago, can now be found in a range of more modern buildings within a radius of some 20 miles from the fort

It was also the garden where - apart from a memorial plaque - shows no sign of the deep hole made by a crashed Mosquito in the Second World War that killed the two crew members.

New to the scheme this year was the garden of Ken and Edna Bizon.

As noted local artists, their garden illustrated their skill both in its shape, form and choice of colours.

Others combined fruit and vegetables with flowers and several backed onto the River Burn which attracts herons and kingfishers because of the periodic appearance of trout apart and a permanent population of smaller fish.

The event, which is held every two years, usually raises more than £2,000.

Proceeds will be split between East Anglian Air Ambulance, Wells Cottage Hospital and the parish church clock.

Previously, the open weekend was masterminded by Peter Phillips, who has since left the village.