|Gresgarth Hall, Lancashire - home of well-known garden designer, Arabella Lennox-Boyd|
Gresgarth Hall - the Lancashire garden created by internationally-renowned garden designer and former Chelsea Gold medal winner - Arabella Lennox-Boyd - opens to the public once a month from April to October and, as I happened to be in the area earlier this month, I couldn't resist taking a look, especially as it was so close to Levens Hall, with its fantastic topiary garden. One of the most striking features about this garden is its verdant and luxurious feel - everywhere you look there is greenery.
|The Terraces adjacent to the Hall were the first areas that Arabella created in the garden|
This garden showcases Arabella's talents, helped by a wonderful location on the banks of a tributary of the River Lune. The result is a perfectly manicured landscape, with a series of different areas, created to divide the 12 cultivated acres into a series of garden stage sets - any one of which would provide a perfect garden design for those of us with smaller plots! As you'd expect, with so few chances to see the garden here, it gets pretty crowded on the days it's open, so armed with map, I set off in search of photos that didn't include the floral-skirt brigade clucking over planting arrangements!
|The bridge that spans the Lune tributary, known as Artle Beck - leading to the Serpentine Walk|
There is certainly plenty to see here, although you may feel slightly intimidated by the sheer volume of planting, gardening and perfection! This is not a garden that a mere mortal could maintain, just in terms of the work load to keep it looking like it does. Admittedly, I was lucky because it was perfect weather on the day I visited, and there had been plenty of rainfall in the preceding days, so the garden looked remarkably green and fresh.
|View from Spring Walk looking towards Mill Yard|
Visiting Gresgarth is like going to the theatre. Act I is the terraces adjacent to the house and a bridge leads from here to the Serpentine and Hamamelis Walks the other side of the river. Once you've admired the house from afar, you can wander up Spring Walk towards Mill Yard where teas are served. Behind the yard there is a kitchen garden and potager. And from here you start Act II with the Water Garden, the Wild Garden and the Lilac Walk. Act III is a grand finale with immaculate herbaceous borders.
|One of many herbaceous borders at Gresgarth|
There's certainly plenty to see here and it's undoubtedly a plantsman's paradise, with more than 6,000 trees and shrubs on view. I enjoyed my visit, but found myself wondering just how many gardeners are needed to retain this stage set, where it seems that every plant has been auditioned to see whether it makes the grade for the command performance each month. But do go and see the show for yourself - Gresgarth Hall opens once a month during the spring and summer months and tickets are £7.00.