A fond farewell

Annie in the garden

In August 2023, we said a fond farewell to our wonderful Garden Manager Annie Dellbridge, who retired after 13 years at Fullers Mill.

Annie initially started at Fullers Mill with the garden’s creator Bernard Tickner MBE and then became a key member of the Perennial team, when he generously bequeathed Fullers Mill to the charity.

Annie’s impact on Fullers Mill is immeasurable, including the knowledge she’s passed onto all the apprentices she’s welcomed so warmly. During her time as Head Gardener and Garden Manager, Fullers Mill was voted RHS Partner Garden of the Year Midlands & East of England two years in a row and was a 2020 TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Award winner. Collage of Annie over the years

Annie did so much to raise awareness of Perennial, through local radio and TV features on Fullers Mill, has helped out at countless events, including the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and even run The British 10K in support of the charity!

We miss you Annie and wish you a very happy retirement.

Fullers Mill Garden wins regional title in RHS Partner Garden of the Year

Perennial, is thrilled that Fullers Mill Garden in Suffolk, is the RHS Partner Garden of the Year Midlands and East of England.

Retaining its title for a subsequent year, the RHS congratulated the garden on being the regional finalist for the second time, voted for by its loyal visitors and supporters who describe the garden as “A truly magical and very special garden…,” “…a gardener’s paradise…” and “…a garden begging one to return…”

Peter Newman, Chief Executive at Perennial, says: “I am thrilled that Fullers Mill, for the second year running, has been voted as the RHS Partner Garden of the Year in the Midlands and East of England. The late Bernard Tickner and his wife would be so pleased to know that their beautiful and tranquil creation, which is so skillfully maintained by Head Gardener Annie Dellbridge and her team of staff and volunteers, continues to delight garden and plant lovers.”

Head Gardener Annie Dellbridge, adds: “We are delighted to retain our title and extremely proud to know that our visitors love the garden as much as we do. Thank you to all who voted for us, we look forward to welcoming new and regular visitors to the garden for another year.”

Voters’ comments about the garden:

“A truly magical and very special garden in a most inspiring setting, every corner of which reflects the passion and dedication of those who work to maintain and develop it. Fullers Mill is a place to find peace and tranquillity amongst an array of interesting plants at any time of the year; its atmosphere is truly unique. Simply a gardener’s paradise!”

“It is down a long drive of pine trees in the middle of a forest which opens out into the most delightful well stocked garden with the river Lark running through it. Beautifully cared for all year round and a garden begging one to return and return. Total tranquillity!”

about fullers mill garden

Fullers Mill is an enchanting and tranquil seven-acre creation on the banks of the River Lark. It combines a beautiful light dappled woodland with a plantsman’s collection of unusual shrubs, perennials, lilies and marginal plants. It is a garden of truly year-round interest. The garden was created by the late Bernard Tickner MBE (1924-2017). He moved to Fullers Mill in 1958 and spent over 50 years creating the garden you see today from rough scrub and woodland. In 2004 he and his wife Bess donated the garden to The Fullers Mill Trust, a registered charity, which was established to manage the garden and to ensure its future.

In 2013 the garden was gifted to Perennial, for its long-term preservation. Head Gardener Annie Dellbridge and her team of gardeners and volunteers now maintain the garden for the enjoyment of visitors from April to October.


Visit England assessors arrive at attractions unannounced and speak to members of staff and other visitors about the attraction and their experience of it. Hazel Hook the assessor who visited Fullers Mill Garden in early May, said of the garden:

“The gardens at Fullers Mill Garden are delightful and well-maintained. The volunteers and garden staff were friendly and knowledgeable. They were also happy to chat with visitors and very willing to share their expert knowledge.”

How Perennial Helps

Perennial is the UK’s only charity looking after people in horticulture and their families. If you work with flowers, plants, trees or grass, our friendly and experienced team are here to deliver completely free and confidential advice. We understand the devastating impact unexpected personal challenges and financial pressures has on lives. If you need help or know someone who does please contact us on 0800 093 8543 or visit perennial.org.uk.

With special thanks to Marcus Harpur, Jonathan Ward and Charlie Colmar for the photography used on these pages.

West Stow, Bury Saint Edmunds IP28 6HD, UK


2024 Season Opening Times 

3 April – 30 October

Wednesday 2pm – 5pm

Friday, Saturday & Sunday 11am – 5pm

Tour our fabulous garden, and be inspired by our festive cards, gifts, bulbs and plants.


No booking required 

Payment will be taken on entry at the garden. 

We can only accept assistance dogs at our gardens. Please leave all pets at home.

We’re sorry, but picnics are not permitted in the garden, however we’re surrounded by the beautiful Kings Forest where your picnic can be enjoyed.

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