Holehird Gardens, Windermere

by David Murray on 27 January 2011

in Cumbria, Gardens

Last summer, while staying for a few days in Kendal (dog-sitting for our son who was holidaying in warmer climes) my wife and I paid our first visit to Holehird Gardens, high up on the hillside above the village of Windermere in the English Lake District. This had been recommended by friends who had “discovered” them a few weeks earlier.

The gardens are the home of The Lakeland Horticultural Society, and are especially impressive for being tended totally by the voluntary labour of members.  Here are just a few of the photos I took on that dull but immensely enjoyable August afternoon. The weather had been rather damp, to say the least, but we grabbed the opportunity of a few dry hours and were not disappointed.

Holehird Gardens

Holehird Collections

The gardens contain several national collections. The Polystichum fern collection includes around sixty cultivars. The Hydrangea Walk includes some 150 cultivars of Hydrangea macrophylla alone; and that is not all, as there are many other Hydrangea species and cultivars.

Thirdly there is the Astilbe collection, and what magnificent displays are to be seen in the summer months. This is a very special collection, and The Lakeland Horticultural Society is appointed by the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS) as International Registration Authority for Astilbe.

Astilbe bed at Holehird

Astilbe bed at Holehird, August 2010

Holehird Gardens – Alpines

Finally, for today. I must not miss a reference to one of my own passions, alpines. The alpine area of the garden is something not to be missed by any keen gardener, with its scree areas, rockeries, troughs and alpine houses. I’m putting here just one my alpine photos from that day last August, the Tufa House.

Holehird Tufa House

Holehird Tufa House, August 2010

If you’re a gardener, or even just enjoy other people’s gardens, when you’re next in the Lake District don’t miss Holehird.

A Holehird Video [Addendum January 2012]

Having just now come across the following video on YouTube I thought it would be good to add it here as it gives a really good idea of the gardens.

This video of Holehird comes from the YouTube channel of chaldon2view who has many other very nice garden-related videos. If you’re a garden-visiting enthusiast make sure to take a look at them.

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