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.

edgeworthia chrysantha

February is here and the Edgeworthia chrysantha has finally decided to grace us with its beautiful, elaborate flowers. Over this month we will see these unfurl further and reveal a half globe of star shaped flowers.

– Alex
Bird feeder pic

In an effort to help and encourage wildlife within the garden, we have installed a number of bird feeders in two sheltered locations. Here you can see 4 Long Tailed Tits on one feeder (spot the fourth bird’s tail poking out from behind the feeder).

This initiative has been spearheaded by fellow gardener Trevor, who has a background in wildlife conservation, and a wealth of knowledge for all things avian (Spot Trevor in the second photo).

We have also taken part in the RSPB’s 45th Big Garden Birdwatch and recorded the results of an hour of birdwatching…

9 Blue Tit
5 Great Tit
3 Coal Tit
2 Chaff Finch
1 Green Finch
2 Gold Finch
2 Bull Finch
1 Nut Hatcher
2 Robin
1 Dunnock
1 Great Speckled Woodpecker
3 Black birds
2 Crow
1 Goldcrest

– Alex
frost damage

As we battle the elements in this exposed garden, we find many challenges, and plenty of damage.

Here we have Camellia ‘Mars’, its new flowers emerging. However some have succumbed to frost damage, leaving them misshapen and brown. Another example of the extreme weather this garden faces.

– Alex
flood level sign

Whilst clearing out the Bothy, we managed to find a great bit of history from the gardens heyday – a plaque in commemoration of a record high for lake Windermere.

This dates back to around the time that the Thomas Mawson designs were being laid out.

Now we just need to do a bit of research and find out where it was originally placed (Keep an eye out for it on future visits to the garden).

– Alex
Organised Shed

The snow and ice of January put a stop to our regular gardening duties. However this gave us an opportunity to take refuge in the “bothy”, which has been in desperate need of a renovation.

With years worth of spiders webs removed, and wooden frames built to hang all our tools (very satisfying) – we now have a garden shed to be proud of.

– Alex
Red rose

As the freezing temperatures blanketed the garden in snow and ice, something caught our eye – In a shady area of the garden a solitary flower of the Camelia japonica ‘Mars’ stood out. As the month rolls on we should see the gradual unfurling flowers of of numerous Camellias, bringing a burst of colour to the entrance and roadside of the garden.

– Alex
Wisteria buds

On a sunny winter day – we can be found with our Tripod ladders, doing some structural pruning. In this case, the mature Wisteria Chinensis which adorns the terrace. It had seen better days, and was in need of a renovation – so we have removed any unproductive old stems, and cut back any unwanted long whips. All the time observing its overall shape.

It is a long process to bring it back to a nice framework, and create a more floriferous specimen. Luckily we can see new buds breaking on the older wood (Yay).

– Alex

The first of our Camellia flowers has finally opened. This variety is Camellia ‘Lulu Belle’ and has delicate, soft petals. You can find it welcoming guests on their arrival by the hotel entrance sign.

– Alex
gardeners doing planting

A crucial job for the longevity of our newly planted trees is supporting their growth in our exposed and windswept site. Here we are double staking our 12 Hawthorn trees (Crataegus laevigata ‘Paul’s Scarlet’), which line a walkway from the parking area to the hotel entrance. We can’t wait to see its double pink flowers blooming in May.

– Alex

Abi & Tom’s Garden Plants – www.abiandtom.co.uk

Our dreary winter days have been punctuated by the uplifting blooms of the Cherry trees (Prunus x subhirtella ‘Autumnalis’) – such great specimens to bring cheer and hope of the spring to come. It really has been a joy for us to see these buds opening.

– Alex