Sunday, 29 May 2011

NGS Garden visit: Gatesyke, Wasdale

Generally, a rather unsatisfactory Bank Holiday. Simply: the weather was crap and the garden centres I visited were rubbish, (in truth, it wasn't quite that cut and dried).

Management and I had 'house' stuff to do which dealt with Saturday morning and in the afternoon I had a drive out to a garden centre near Carlisle racecourse. Some nice quality plants but outrageous prices. Having just paid £3.65 at Seaview for a very large Weigela Bristol Ruby in excellent condition I'm blowed if I will fork out £7.95 for a weedy looking plant one-third the size. Left empty-handed ...

On Sunday the weather did it's usual Cumbrian thing of being absolutely horrible in the morning but clearing up mid-afternoon to produce a few hours of bliss. I really wanted to plant up the new beds in the Cottage Garden but precipitation levels were not going to allow this. I consoled myself with the knowledge that all this rain was doing a very nice job of settling the newly dug soil and went for a drive. Time instead to support another garden open for charity.

Whin Rigg and Illgill Head from the house.

There are worse ways of spending Bank Holiday Sunday than driving down the Gosforth road in bright sunshine with occasional glimpses of the Scaffels. A couple of disappointments on the way; a Gosforth garden was unexpectedly closed and a nearby garden centre was as bad as I remembered when Management and I visited it a couple of years ago.

My third destination made up for all that: Gatesyke in Nether Wasdale. A large (5 acre?) plot with about 2 acres under control and bisected by the River Irt as it leaves Wast Water. A typical Lakeland garden which suffers from high winds, torrential rain and low temperatures so the planting has to be robust and hardy - very few herbaceous perennials here.

The river wall was completely washed away in the November 2009 floods. It has only taken the Environment Agency 17 months to give permission for it to be rebuilt ...

A very sheltered vegetable patch - I have cold frame envy!

A thoroughly enjoyable visit made even more memorable by a long chat with the owner. It's a small world up here, he used to work with the chap who owned our house 20 years ago and remembers coming here for dinner - when the Leylandii were a lot smaller!

Left around 3.00 and drove a mile down the road to eat a late lunch - which tasted pretty darn good with this as the view:


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