Sunscales House (NGS)

You know those gardens that catch your eye? That offer intriguing glimpses when you’re passing by? The ones you would like to explore, but they belong to someone else – someone you don’t know?

This was one of those gardens for me. I feel such a lucky Herdy Girl!

Thanks to the National Garden Scheme (NGS), these kinds of private gardens are made accessible in order to raise funds for charity.  Of the six Cockermouth Gardens open on 9th July this year, Sunscales House would be the fifth for us. (You can pay your £4.50 pp at any of the gardens, and tour them in any order you please.)

It lies on the road between our home and the Cockermouth shops, and the main road toward West Cumbria.

The front garden is visible from the road, and it looks a Right Proper Gardeners’ Garden.

The NGS notes call this a medium sized garden, and so it is.  A very well-appointed medium sized garden.

It has the feel of two gardens, and I wonder if this is a ‘his and hers’ situation, or if the gardeners’ tastes are changing. It may well have been a simple choice, as the layout and micro-climates lend themselves to their current use.

Entering from the drive, there are plenty of hard surfaces, strong lines, and the ‘vibe’ is Asian with a touch of the Mediterranean on their large patio.

Someone clearly enjoys their bonsai. A lovely collection filled the area between the patio and the green house.

Then you pass a wildlife pond, and step down into their vegetable and fruit growing area.  The strong lines are still there, but the edges of the garden are softening.

Note again, the walls and hedges enclosing and protecting the garden. And we turn down a beautifully placed pergola.

Covered in lovely vines.

At the end of which we meet the path to the front door. This area is packed with bulb, shrubs, perennials, many kept in bounds by ‘step-over’ espaliered apple trees.

A well-struck balance between orderly structure and exuberant plant growth.  Much thought and planning and skill has gone into this garden.

The garden at Sunscales House was a case of thoroughly met (high) expectations.

Clouds were beginning to gather for the forecasted ‘light rain’ and we knew it was time to move along.  The owners kindly told us the best place to park for our sixth and final garden visit of the day.

Onward to Rubby Banks Cottage.


Herdy Girl








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