Thursday, 26 November 2015

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Rare chance to see amazing Cumbrian gardens

Owners of some of Cumbria’s finest gardens are to open up their shrubberies and herbaceous borders to visitors this summer in aid of Theatre by the Lake in Keswick.

Quarry Hill gardens photo
Quarry Hill House, Mealsgate

Friends of Theatre by the Lake have arranged for seven gardens to open on Sundays between May 11 and July 13.

For a small charge, members of the public will be able to admire the handiwork of some of Cumbria’s finest gardeners, including a number of gardens which are normally closed to the public. Teas will also be available.

Sarah Campion, a member of the Friends’ committee, said: “Everyone loves gardens – and gardeners love looking at other people’s gardens.

“We hope as many people as possible will come, enjoy the days and so contribute to the continuing success of Theatre by the Lake.”

The locations range from the Keswick area to Wigton and a village near Brampton. The gardens include “an oasis of calm and beauty” in the centre of Keswick, the grounds of an historic Cumbrian home and two acres shaped and cultivated by Theatre by the Lake’s artistic director Ian Forrest and resident designer Martin Johns.

Members of Friends of Theatre by the Lake will be present at all openings to collect admission cash and help serve teas.

“We are sure many people – and lots of gardeners – will enjoy such a varied collection of gardens but have no idea how much we might raise for the theatre,” said committee member Carol Thompson.

“We would like to have seven perfect Cumbrian days, although we are bit worried about rain. But at least the dates of the openings are evenly spread.”

The open gardens

May 11 2pm to 5pm - Bishop’s House, Ambleside Road, Keswick: A combination of woodland garden, small rockery, pond, orchard, trees and shrubs. Admission £3.

May 18 2pm to 5pm - Fawe Park, Portinscale: The garden on which Beatrix Potter based her drawings for The Tale of Benjamin Bunny. Admission £7.50 by ticket only, available from

June 8 2pm to 5pm - Sour Riggs, Thornthwaite: Notable for rhododendrons, azaleas and wonderful views. Admission £2.50.

June 15 2pm to 5pm - Spooney Green, Keswick: A haven for wildlife, including red squirrels and many garden birds. Admission £3.50.

June 22 2pm to 5pm - Quarry Hill House, Boltongate, Wigton: Three acres with borders, trees, shrubs and a vegetable garden. Admission £4.

July 6 11am to 5pm - The Gardens of Hutton-in-the-Forest: Walled garden, terraces, topiary, wildflower meadow, cascade and lake. Admission £6.50.

July 13 2pm to 5pm - Ivy House, Cumwhitton, CA8 9EX: Sloping fellside garden with a wild area leading to a stream. Trees, shrubs, bamboos and herbaceous perennials. Admission £3.50.


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