In the National Garden Scheme’s (NGS) first year, 1927, six hundred private gardens opened to raise charitable funds for district nurses.
In 2017, an astounding 3,800 private gardens are opening their gates to visitors across England and Wales, all to provide financial support to nursing and caring charities.
Not a bad way for the NGS to celebrate its 90th Anniversary, eh?
This past Sunday, Best Beloved and I spent a few relaxed hours touring six Cockermouth Gardens as part of an NGS open day. The fourth garden we visited was High Moor.
The official description notes that High Moor covers around 3/4 acre, which gave it a wide-open feeling. When you first enter the property, you are greeted with a lawn that beckons you to wear wide-brimmed hats and play croquet.
That’s not to say that High Moor doesn’t offer intimate spaces as well. It certainly does. In fact, look how well a potentially forgotten in-between space is utilized as an inviting seating area below.
We enjoyed walking around their well-appointed vegetable and fruit garden.
Who wouldn’t want to dry their clothes in a strawberry patch? Well done, High Moor owners, well done!
Or pick garden peas supported by recycled agricultural fencing? (I suffered a moment of extreme pea envy here… sigh.)
Although High Moor’s vegetable garden is overlooked, it feels a friendly space and doesn’t suffer from the nearness of others.
What lucky neighbours they have, with such a view out their back windows.
The space is also shared by hives of bees and a flock of chickens. No chicken photos, sadly, as they were penned away for the open garden. We did get to watch, from a distance, as the bees busily buzzed to and fro from their shelter.
As with the White House garden, plenty of walls and hedges mitigate the effects of Cumbrian winds. High Moor also offered a pergola. It was a heavier affair of brick and timber, along which ran a water feature.
At its end, the owners took advantage of a warm sun-trap by adding a built-in barbeque grill and seating.
Alongside that area, greenhouses sheltered grapevines, figs and more. It was properly reminiscent of times when such luxury was a lot harder to find – no supermarkets when this property was built.
And in a hidden nook around the corner, a sheltered seat to rest weary bones and quietly contemplate.
A gregarious group were enjoying light refreshments alongside the house, but we had two more of the six gardens to visit and decided to keep going.
The next two properties were a bit further away, but closer to our route home. We hopped in the car and tootled over to the Lorton Road.