I had recently read a book on the original creation and the more recent re-design of the gardens at Holker Hall so I was really looking forward to visiting it to see it for real. The book made mention of many rare and interesting trees being planted which made me extra keen to visit.
We hoped it would reach our expectations as it was the last day of our week in the Lake District. We looked forward to a gentle stroll around a peaceful, atmospheric garden. We were not disappointed in any way! Holker’s gardens were full of variety and surprises, with a careful balance of the formal and informal.
As we entered the garden we were presented with this vista, a vista full of promises to come.
Taking each pathway off from the central path we discovered beautiful examples of formality, neatly cut grass, hedges carefully clipped and seats neatly tucked into niches.
But formality cannot work without carefully chosen and well-grown plants.
As we moved away from the formality of the first section of the garden we found gentle meadows which presented a complete contrast.
The meadows contained surprises, a stone circle, a maze, seats of single blocks of slate and the most beautiful sundial.
It was hot wandering out in the open space of the meadows so it felt good to wander around shaded areas and an Italianate water garden.
One of the reasons to visit Holker Hall is the collection of rare and unusual trees. They were underplanted with meadows of grasses and wildflowers which gave the wooded area the character of a real William Robinson styled wild garden
We were amazed by the number of interesting trees at Holker and enjoyed discovering several champion trees. There were so many special places throughout the gardens where shrubs and trees were sensitively grouped to set them off in the best light.