Thursday, 1 April 2010
Visit any of the Lake District’s wonderful gardens in springtime and you will see them at their freshest, sparkling best. Bright green grass, deep, clear blue skies, early blossom and fresh spring flowers all paint a colourful picture of the new season’s life bursting eagerly forth.
Sizergh Castle in the south of the county is certainly superb at this time of year. It stands proudly in its rolling pastoral landscape, the grandeur of its great tower reflected in the lake at its feet. The home of the Strickland family for centuries, and now a national trust property, its beauty and history have been preserved and opened up for all.
The extensive grounds contains a huge limestone rock garden, threaded through with streams that mirror its many gems. Right now, it is peppered with cheerful drumstick primulas, species narcissus and the extraordinary huge yellow spathes of ‘skunk cabbages’. This property is also rightly famed for its wildflower banking which sees a progression of pretty native rarities including many local orchids.
Elsewhere cherry avenues create the most delightful living tunnels of colorful blossom carpeted beneath with tiny bulbs, and further on huge magnolias light up the sky with their enormous open flowers.
It is also the place to see a little of the work that goes on behind the scenes... It is a pleasure to walk beneath the old fruit trees in the natural orchard, deep with drifts of gorgeous daffodils. There is also the working kitchen and cutting garden to explore, its many rows of old fashioned vegetables and traditional flowers proudly watched over by the ever vigilant scarecrow.
Put simply, Sizergh shows us all that is good in a garden in springtime....