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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