Saturday, 1 August 2009
Part of the pleasure of this garden begins before you even reach it. The narrow, little used road along the western side of Windermere is a joy to drive down, twisting and turning its way up and down through stone walled pasture and woodland, giving occasional glimpses of lake and fell.
The garden at Graythwaite Hall is one of Lakeland’s undiscovered gems. From its fresh, bright and colourful springtime splendour to its mellow melding of greens as summer slips into autumn. It was laid out by fashionable designer of Edwardian elegance, Thomas Mawson. The century old Italianate styling of terracing and statuary has here naturalised into the wider landscape and treats us to one of the most beautiful, quiet and unspoiled gardens in the region.
Step back in time for a gentle stroll around a garden unpressurised by the demands of visitor centre, tea room or ticket office. Pass only an old fashioned honesty box, then feel free to wander at will- to explore and discover for yourself the subtle charms of this larger Lakeland garden.
Slate surfaced paths wind down to a rushing stream. Rolling lawns link shady shrub lined ways and woodland walks. Ancient trees lead the eye out and up to forested fellside and down across farmland to the valley and lake shore beyond. Close to the house, time and growth has softened the formal features of steps and terrace, sundials, statues and ballustrading. All is now blended into one comfortable whole.
Simply stunning in spring, when the massed rhododendrons give a dazzling display. This garden mellows through summer to lush greens, perfectly in tune with the Lake District landscape.
Catch it while you can... its season draws to a close at the end of August.
See www.graythwaitehall.co.uk for details.