While we’re all waiting for a bit of warm spring sunshine, Cumbrian Garden Designer, Bea Ray, visits historic Dalemain Gardens to see how they keep things interesting at this time of year.
I always get impatient waiting for spring, after months of muddy winter I am so ready for things to start growing again, and am willing the sun to shine, and the blossom and bulbs to just get cracking. So I popped over to Dalemain Gardens, where spring is in full swing, to get some inspiration. Always happy to learn from the experts, I was given plenty of ideas for what looks good on a watery March morning.
Structure – the bare bones of the garden
At Dalemain the clipped box hedges, arches, steps, paths and walls, all create a solid framework which draws you in and leads you round the garden.
The ancient stonework of the walls and paths is uneven and pitted with mossy crannies where ferns add to the texture. Weathered wood adds character and a sense of timelessness, as do gnarled stumps and mottled leaves of the groundcover.
Hardy souls – reliable, early flowering stalwarts are a welcome sight, braving the cold and damp.
Snowdrops, daffodils, crocus, hellebores, pulmonaria and winter aconites carpet the ground.
And finally after all that research, time to warm up with a well earned cup of tea in the cosy tearoom, complete with roaring fire. Roll on spring!