The Lake District’s glorious landscape is wonderful to experience at any time of year but surely a fine late autumn day sees it at its settled best. With luck, deepest blue skies and low sunshine will set the last golden leaf colour ablaze and the fellside bracken aglow in richest russet shades.
It is a time to appreciate the sublime beauty of the managed landscape and those who help create, cherish and safeguard it for the future. Lakeland’s largest landowner is the National Trust and a fine example of their stewardship is at High Close, Langdale.
Once a Victorian gentleman’s residence, with ten gardeners, incuding a full time path sweeper, covering as many acres. The house is now a wonderful, welcoming youth hostel and its dramatic hillside garden has reverted in part to wild woodland.
It is a real joy to explore though, as winding pathways and terraces cut their way down the steep slopes, giving views out across to Loughrigg and down the valley to distant glimpses of Windermere.
There are some magnificent old trees to be seen here, but what is important is the garden’s natural and seamless integration out into the wider landscape, and its easy and comfortable position within it.
A staff of ten may be only a distant dream to Pete Tasker, the Trust’s sole part time gardener here, but all that is done is done with such sensitivity and respect that this most charming of Lakeland idylls is set to survive and prosper for the enjoyment of many generations to come....