On the ground

As we start to bring the garden to life we’ll be documenting the progress Claire, Alex, Charlotte and Trevor are making over the next few years.

Thanks to Annie Guilfoyle, Martin Ogle and Patrick Clarke for their continued support and expertise.

Scroll through our journey so far.

Our Auricular Theatre has now been installed and we are delighted to be showcasing current highlights from the garden. We really enjoy walking round as a team and selecting our favourite plants. This will also be the meeting point for our garden tours, located in The Boot Room.

– Alex

The newly planted Crataegus is now in flower, it is a pink form of the common native (white) Hawthorn which is usually found in hedgerows. We’re really appreciating its late spring colour, which lines the pathways leading from the hotel to the car park.

– Alex

In an effort to increase biodiversity and habitats for pollinators, we are allowing meadows to form along the lakeside.

These will be delineated from the lawns with a crisp mown edge, to strike a balance between nature and the manicured garden. Although this gives us some relief from of our mowing duties, it does take some management to remove vigorous species that would usually dominate other wildflowers.

Keep an eye out for: Conopodium majus, Cardamine pratensis, Veronica camaedrys, Ajuga reptans, Trifolium repens and lotus corniculatus.

– Alex

The Camassia leichtinii ‘Alba’ has begun to flower, taking over from the blue form of Camassia which has now gone over as we leave spring behind. They have a great upright habit and bridge the gap between Spring and Summer.

– Alex

May has been a great time to admire the Rhododendrons in the garden. Here is one of our most spectacular specimens: Rhododendron ‘Yakushimanum Soft Pink’ Appearing like a fluffy pink cloud against the austere yew topiary.

– Alex

The first phase of our exciting garden redesign project included the planting of many large and mature specimens, such as the monumental Taxus baccata pyramids by the hotel entrance and the row of cherries – Prunus x subhirtella ‘Autumnalis Rosea’ in the drop off area. Mature specimens like these require a lot of watering throughout the growing season until their roots are well established; typically two to three years. One of the best attributes of the hotel is the terrace and the view – no other hotel can boast such a prominent Windermere lakeshore location! To care for our plants whilst minimising disturbance to our guests enjoying the terrace, we decided to install a leaky hose irrigation system. We have carefully (and painstakingly!) laid hundreds and hundreds of metres of leaky pipe, controlled by valve boxes which are, in turn, turned on/off by rain sensors. We’ve then buried these lengths of hose to make the whole system as discreet as possible. The irony is not lost on us in the garden team that for much of our irrigation install, we were working in the rain! It has been a steep learning curve for all of us but testament again to the resilience and hard work of the garden team to complete this project before the warm weather (hopefully) reaches us.

– Claire

On the sloping south facing border there are more varieties of Narcissi to enjoy; beautiful pure white ‘Thalia’ in layers, cascading down the slope interspersed with pops of cheery yellow from ‘Double Campernelle’. We’ve had an amazing display from all our Narcissus bulbs; they’re fully winter hardy, cope with our heavy clay soil and even all the rain the lake district has thrown their way hasn’t dampened their spirits.

– Claire

Similar in appearance to a snowdrop, only taller, this is Leucojum aestivum ‘Gravetye Giant’. It has several flowers on each stem and green tips to each of its petals. This bulb should happily self-seed and naturalise through the border given our incredibly moist conditions!

– Claire

Many of our planted tulips suffered from the wet winter we experienced here on site and failed. Those that flourished look superb in the borders; the sunshine catching Tulip ‘Salmon Prince’ highlights the paper like delicacy of the petals and the blend of colour to give the overall salmon appearance. Over successive years in the ground tulip bulbs divide into smaller bulbs which are not large enough to provide a flower, or they may rot or develop tulip fire. In the summer months we will dig them up, dry them out and store them ready for replanting to give them the best chance of display next season.

– Claire

Along the roadside woodland border we planted 4 different varieties of narcissi bulbs; 4000 in total. The different varieties will flower at slightly different times and here we can see Narcissus ‘Actaea’ in a large, impactful drift complemented by the upright deep violet flower spikes of Muscari latifolium. All our bulb varieties were expertly selected by garden designer Annie Guilfoyle and placed and planted by the garden team.

– Claire