Sunday, 27 June 2010

NGS Garden Visit, Fleming Square, Maryport

Blazing hot sunshine and three new gardens opening for the first time. A particularly interesting visit for me because, 2½ years ago, we looked at a house in Fleming Square. Four huge and double-fronted floors of faded Georgian splendour were extremely attractive but the location was rubbish; far too close to the sea (200 yards), a tiny courtyard garden, no views and neither of us wanted to live in a town.

Good though to see the house was eventually sold and the new owners are working very hard to restore it.

way, way, too near to the coast ...

Thank you Google:

The Brown House

Home of Tim Longville, writer and columnist for Cumbria Life magazine, and author of one of my favourite gardening books of all time.

(if you're seeing this in Google Reader, the link to Tim's book doesn't show)

The largest of today's gardens but impossible to get a sense of size because the garden is packed ("completely overloaded" according to Tim) and one has to pick through narrow paths avoiding overgrown trees. I found myself having a long conversation with him about propagation through air layering - lovely man, utterly bonkers but quite lovely.

It was a pleasant space to spend some time in and I am sure some of the planting was important and would make knowledgeable plant collectors very excited, sadly I just felt hemmed in. Oh, and there were roses, lots and lots of roses. I'll talk about roses one day, but not today.

23 Fleming Square

Similar to The Brown House but thankfully with a little more breathing space.

The Priory

Being restored by a team of volunteers, this garden is 4 times the size of the other two and much more open, two lawns and mixed borders.

The information leaflet handed out apologises because many of the plants are in the wrong place. As overgrown, bramble infested beds are cleared, what can be saved is bunged wherever is clear space until such time as it can be positioned correctly. That made me smile, it is more like most people's gardens than either of the others and seemed very popular with the visitors.

Extremely healthy hostas, perhaps it is Divine Intervention but I didn't see a single slug hole!

An unusual place to find gunnera manicata but it seemed happy enough.

Canterbury Bells always make me think of gardens when I was little, glad to find they are growing happily here.


  1. What a Grand Day Out you had. The only garden I think I'd have been happy to spend time in was the last, the others were too "busy" for me.

    As for Leeds .... whoopdeedoo! Can't wait.

  2. Do you think Harlow Carr is ready for us all?

  3. I love a good nosey around other people's gardens! I used to be a member of the Northern Whatsitsname with Harlow Carr visiting rights. It proved too difficult to get there often enough to get my money's worth!

    Ah roses! I have some but surrounded by perennials so it's not too obvious when they spend 6 months of the year as sticks!

  4. Flummery - visiting Harlow Carr is No 1 on agenda for the forthcoming visit to Leeds .... after lots of talking and catching up (I suppose we can do both at the same time!)

  5. Would you be impressed if I told you that we have no slug holes in any of our (very many) inherited Hostas? Obviously I can take all the credit - it's nothing to do with slug's inability to survive such dry conditions!
    Thanks for the coffe earlier Bilbo, 'twas good to catch up and Her Ladyship enjoyed her visit too.

  6. Very good to see you too, CB. Hope you get on well with Red Betty (oh, didn't I tell you the carpet cleaner has a name ....). Don't blame me, it was James' idea.

  7. How lovely to go through some of the NGS open gardens. It seems to be just down to a matter of personal taste sometimes. I visited one NGS garden earlier this year, Roald Dahl's garden in Great Missenden, Bucks.

  8. Not only do the slugs get my hostas but I think they had all my lenten rose buds last year too!


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