Wednesday, 1 April 2009


Which is the best garden in Lakeland? That is a tricky question... There’s such a choice- small or large, formal or natural, and then of course it varies from season to season.

But for now, my number one choice is Mirehouse, North of Keswick. This most peaceful and beautiful of places encompasses all the elements for perfection...

Here is an outstanding lakeland landscape- the House nestles in a breathtakingly idyllic setting. Walk down through lush meadows leading to the shores of Bassenthwaite Lake, or along trails that lead up through its backdrop of forest and mountains. No wonder those rarest of Lakeland visitors, the Ospreys, chose here for their first home in all of England.

If the setting is superb, then the garden experience is superlative. Long drives lined by ancient pines, beneath which choice rhododendrons bloom. The area around the house, relaxed and natural, yet beautifully kept and a real joy to explore- don’t miss the wild wood tunnels or the fascinating ‘snuff garden’.

There’s poetry in a lovely covered walk for the literary minded, and for younger visitors intent on adventure, not one but four adventure playgrounds. They are hidden in the woods and include a most excellent adventure island, and a thrilling zip wire skimming inches above the Skill Beck.

It is the old walled garden however which pleases most- simple yet stunning. A haven for honeybees and a focus of peace and beauty. Cherry blossom abounds and later avenues of Buddleia and an intricately carved heather labyrinth keep the nectar flowing. For visitors too, it is guaranteed to keep a beamingly wide smile on your face.

Yes, Mirehouse is simply wonderful- my Number 1 Lakeland Garden.

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