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Heaven & Hell: Alan Gray

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Alan and Graham Robeson arrived at East Ruston Old Vicarage in 1973, buying the property at auction. Back then there was no garden whatsoever, it was a blank canvas. Over the years they have transformed the space into one that has grown in importance and popularity and is now known worldwide. Having originally created the gardens for themselves, sharing them and seeing how much others appreciate them a bonus. Here Alan talks to Gina Long...

How has Covid-19 impacted your lives?

Fortunately, we have space so Covid has not impacted on us too much. We have adapted routes around the garden so that visitors can observe social distancing and we ask all to use common sense in respect of this. Whatever the future holds, we shall endeavour to cope with respect and the necessary precautions.

What is your connection to Norfolk?

I was born in Norfolk as was Graham’s mother so, our connections run deep. Norfolk is a county that offers so much both to those who live within its borders and to those who visit and will, I suspect leave having fallen under its spell.

What is your East Anglian Heaven?

My East Anglian Heaven must be our garden, which I think of as a paradise in sadly what’s an ever more hostile world. It is a place of refuge and calmness, not just for us but for all those who visit. We have season tickets for those who live close enough to come regularly who feel similarly. What I like most about living here is the rich history of our county, the diversity of nature and the fact that you really can get away from everything, all you need to do is find a walk.

What is your East Anglian hell?

I don’t really have an East Anglian Hell although, the increase in the traffic on our roads, especially in the countryside is a pity but one has to realise that increased traffic equals increased finance for the county with tourists spending monies with our........

© Eastern Daily Press

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