This Scepter’d Isle is known throughout the world for it’s patchwork fields, green landscape and glorious gardens. Since 1927, the National Garden Scheme (NGS) has leveraged that beauty by inviting owners to open their private gardens to raise money for charities in England and Wales. According to their website, over £50 Million since the scheme began.
A couple of months ago, I picked up an NGS brochure at the train station in Penrith and noticed, with pleasure, that there were several open gardens within a reasonable distance from our valley home. Yay!
This past weekend, six Cockermouth gardens were open to visitors. For a mere £4.50 per person, visitors were allowed to wander around all of these beautiful and personal gardens, speak to the owners, and possibly enjoy a cup of tea and a piece of cake. (Pay at any of the 6 gardens. No charge for children. Refreshments available in two of the gardens.)
We paid, received our stickers and (not-quite-to-scale) map, and cheerfully began exploring.
The map led us into The Parklands housing development and to a modern brick two story house. Immediately, you can tell that this is the home of a serious home gardener- the plants are all well-tended and thoughtfully placed.
A peek down either side of the house tempts you into the piece de resistance, a tightly planted jewel of a garden.
This particular back garden surrounds a lovely conservatory, and takes full advantage of planting vertically on the fence and within the garden itself. It is very much a sheltered, green embrace.
Pulled together by it’s hard structure, this small garden’s paths and raised beds make every inch of space contribute to the whole.
The beds were very closely planted, with obvious thought given to placement within the scheme.
It would be interesting to see how the garden looks in the winter, when the riot of blooms has quieted. Will it fare well and continue to provide a pleasurable view from the owner’s conservatory?
All of the garden owners were welcoming and a pleasure to meet. So much so that one of the best parts of the NGS is the people you meet and their enthusiasm for plants, gardens, and their community.
Onward and upward, we leave this tidy garden in its modern neighbourhood and head uphill toward the next garden.
See you there!