Follow the quiet road to Mungrisdale, and tucked away at the foot of Bowscale Fell, lies the private garden of Chapelside, the creation and home of Tricia and Robin Acland. It is an enchanting place to visit. Little paths lead you through shady woodland, criss-crossing a tiny stream, and opening out to a large pond with a dramatic view of the steep fellside.
The planting is intricate and beautiful, and enormously varied from dry gravel areas round the front to little alpines knitted together amongst slate, woodland planting by the stream, a wide variety of trees and shrubs, abundant cottage style borders, and a kitchen garden packed with everything from sweet peas twisting up hazel poles to the stately heads of Angelica jostling amongst aquilegia, not to mention all the various vegetables.
On top of all this, there are also sculptural surprises throughout the garden, casual and understated like a little nest of twigs and pebbles in a gap in the paving, but also more dramatic like the 3 fins by the front door, and even a crocodile lurking in the deep shade. It’s a garden that is well worth a visit, you will come away brimming with ideas. But be warned, Tricia often has plants for sale so be prepared for a little bit of impulse buying.
The garden is open for the National Garden Scheme, see www.ngs.or.uk for details.
By Beatrice Ray