Sunny day at Holehird for gardens group

It was a lovely day at Holehird Gardens, today – the plants and scenery were out of this world. Hole Hird is a mansion near Winderemere, designed by the Manchester gothic architect, Joseph Stretch Crowther (1820-1903).  Complementing the house is a terraced lower garden with an elevated walk that curves with the landscape, a  gothic stairway, fountain and pond all with views to the Lake District mountains.

The modern gardens were created by Lakeland Horticultural Society in the last 40 years. They extend much further uphill, embracing the old walled kitchen garden on their way. They are maintained solely by around 80 volunteer gardeners and it was fascinating to learn how all this was organised. Many volunteers were around on our visit, happily beavering away while saying ‘hello’ and answering our questions as we passed.

Hole Hird

Hole Hird

Lakeland mountains seen from the gardens

Lakeland mountains seen from the gardens

 

 

 

 

 

A bed of one's own

Some volunteers worked on their own beds

Volunteer gardeners

Others worked in groups on the lawns

 

In the Upper Garden

In the Fellside Garden

Our guide was Ian Fraser, a volunteer gardener, who enthusistically showed us around the gardens and plant collections and explained how things worked behind the scenes.

Holehird is different to many ‘heritage’ gardens in that it has a strong contemporary feel, though without being exotic or unusual in design. It is the combined effort of a lot of excellent gardeners and ‘plantsmiths’ rather than the mind of a single garden designer.

It was a fascinating tour and afterwards we roamed the gardens in the beautiful afternoon sunshine.  I especially liked the specimen trees and the national collections of Astilbe and Polystichum. A lot of care is given around the edges of the garden, such as near the car park and drive. The Walled Garden is neverless the centrepiece and it was outstanding. Here are photographs of the various parts of the garden. Just click to enlarge.

 

Fellside garden

Fellside Garden

National Collection of Polystichum

Polystichum

Garden Seat

Seat in the Upper Garden

Handkerchief Tree

Handkerchief Tree

Chestnut Tree

Chestnut

Glasshouses

Glasshouses

Tufa House

Tufa House

Walled Garden

Walled Garden

Walled Garden 1

Walled Garden 1

Walled Garden 2

Walled Garden 2

Walled Garden 3

Walled Garden 3

Walled Garden 4

Walled Garden 4

Walled Garden 5

Walled Garden 5

Walled Garden 6

Walled Garden 6

Walled Garden 7

Walled Garden 7

National Collection of Astilbe

Astilbe

Hydrangea Collection

Hydrangea Collection

Next to the Drive

Next to the Drive

Near the Car Park

Near the Car Park

Woodland Walk in the Lower Garden

Woodland Walk in the Lower Garden

Crockety Seat in the Lower Garden

Crockety Seat in the Lower Garden

 

 

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