As we headed up the hill from the garden on Holmewood Avenue, smiling people were walking in both directions. Every one of the happy walkers was wearing a yellow National Garden Scheme (NGS) sticker. They were chatting about plants, pets, and the weather. All quite civilized.
After all, the NGS has been raising charitable funds for ninety years. Through the public opening of some of the loveliest private gardens in England and Wales, the NGS is the most significant charitable funder of nursing charities in the country. Civilized indeed.
So, it was with genteel anticipation that we walked up the lane toward the third garden on our Cockermouth Gardens tour.
The White House stands on a hill. The house and garden are protected from the Cumbrian wind by a series of walls and hedges.
Upon entry to the garden, refreshments beckoned. Tea, coffee, and a fine selection of homemade cakes. Best Beloved chose a slice of Victoria Sponge Cake, and I decided upon a piece of Lemon Drizzle Cake with my tea. We relaxed in an arboured seat for a moment with neither camera nor agenda.
It was a good moment in a good afternoon.
A long, vine-covered pergola crosses the garden.
It separates several garden ‘rooms’ filled with borders and beds, provides visual interest, and gives further protection from the prevailing southwesterly wind.
The Edwardian house itself is set in what were once the Victorian gardens of Holmewood, now a residential care home on the other side of the garden wall. Remnants of that layout can be seen in the terraces, and in some of the hard features.
An adjoining stable block is incorporated into the garden. The owners have future plans for this area, to take advantage of it’s sunny warmth.
This is the roomiest of the gardens thus far.
En route to the vegetable garden and petite orchard, an ethereal scent drew us toward a lovely old fashioned ‘Blush Noisette’ climbing rose.
My goodness, it is an astoundingly gorgeous thing!
Having finished visiting the third of six gardens, BB and I were half way through our NGS tour. We’d had refreshments, and were ready to walk to the next property.