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.

As the buds begin to swell on our roses and climbers, we have the luxury of being able to apply a generous mulch of Thwaites’ own produced manure. Supplied by the brewery’s own Shire horses, and fed on a diet of hay and spent barley.

We have fed around 80 roses and climbers, giving the new plants a great start for their first spring in the garden.

– Alex

Here are the flower buds on our Wisteria sinensis, which is responding well to the prune we gave it in early January.

We can’t wait to see it’s long racemes adorning the Terrace in May.

– Alex

The South Slope has slowly burst into colour over March, and the species Tulips have begun to appear. This is Tulipa humilis ‘Persian Pearl’.

– Alex

As we begin April and the temperatures begin to lift (hopefully), we are able to begin adding the pot grown Eremurus ‘Pinokkio’ to the planting on the South Slope.

Eremurus dislikes the wet winters we have here in the UK and even more so in the Lake District. Therefore growing them is somewhat challenging. However, we are able to achieve this by planting their Octopi like bulbs in a free draining soil mix in the greenhouse. Once the temperatures rise, we plant them outside on a mound of grit and pray for no late frosts (Cloches at the ready just in case).

– Alex

There’s nothing like the acid greens of Euphorbia characias ‘Wulfenii’ to wake you up on a grey morning. This is a strong reliable grower, even after its first harsh cumbrian winter here at Langdale Chase. It’s easy to forget that this is a classic Mediterranean plant.

– Alex

Taking pride of place near the terrace is our Cornus mas, revealing airy flowers on its naked stems. At this pivotal time for the garden we can now enjoy seeing the first buds and flowers on some of our newly planted specimen shrubs and trees.

As you arrive at the entrance you will be greeted by the ruffled blooms of the Camellia japonica ‘Lulu Belle’.

– Alex

As we ebb slowly towards Spring, our winter of toiling in the cold and rain is being rewarded. At this time of year the garden is revealing some of the most delicate and minute displays. Here is the Puschkinia libanotica, commonly referred to as the Russian snowdrop, catching some winter sun on the south slope. This is the earliest bulb to flower in the garden.

– Alex
Stairs going towards hotel lake Windemere
Gardner doing gardening

The addition of the beautiful copper lights left us with some unpleasant electrical cabling in the original Mawson rockery. Charlotte and Alex did a fantastic job moving in stones and positioning them to look as if they’ve always been there, masking these cables. The lower sections were completely overwhelmed by ferns too, which offered an additional challenge. Most were removed but some were re-positioned to poke out from behind rocks, and the smaller, more delicate plants moved into the new planting pockets created. We have grand plans for this area – watch this space!

– Claire
Gardner's doing gardening
Gardner's doing gardening

Our yew (Taxus baccata) topiary pyramids have been bearing the brunt of the season’s gale force winds and it was clear they needed some additional support. Here Trevor and I are, taking turns hammering in the platypus anchoring system. This is a discreet, underground system for stabilising our mature root ball specimens, removing the need for any unsightly overground staking – let the focus be the beautiful planting!

– Claire