This is a southwest facing, steeply sloped area between the Kitchen Garden and the Meadow, and separated from the main Farmhouse Garden by the Water Garden that is reached from an upper lawn.
The Garden is boundaried by a drystone wall and - beside the public bridleway - the Red Hedge, a selection of mainly native hedgerow plants, roses and fuchsia selected for their colour. Along the wall there are a few well-established hazel coppices, and some attractive self-sown silver birches, grasses and heathers have colonised a few spots.
This garden has proved one of the most difficult on the site: Not only does it have ongoing drainage problems and an appeal to browsing deer, we have struggled to resolve the design and planting of it. Initially, a serene scheme of trees and grass inspired by what was naturally there was planned, with grass paths and no terracing despite the steep slopes. However, we soon realised the area was too small to be dotted with diverse shrubs and trees, and that maintaining the steep grass pathways was impractical. On the plus side, there is some good soil here, and the whole area catches the evening light beautifully.
In summer 2007 we simplified the large beds and decided to create a bold 'infinity lawn' on the highest part of the garden, below which a wide, curved bed would sweep round the contours of the hillside before melting away. This border is being planted predominantly with grasses and winter heathers to compliment the native plants of the garden and to provide winter interest, and to offset the luxuriance of the Water Garden below it.
Carex hispida (Hispid sedge)
Erica carnea 'Myretoun Ruby' (Winter-flowering heather)
Viburnum opulus (Guelder rose)
Amalenchier canadensis (Shadblow serviceberry)
Rosa 'Geranium' (Wild rose hybrid)
Deschampsia cespitosa (Tufted hair grass)
Molinia caerulea (Purple moor grass)
Tellima grandiflora oderata grp (Fringe cups)
Hellebore foetidus (Stinking hellebore)
Karen Guthrie and Adam Sutherland have lived and gardened on site since 2001. James Herd and James Howson constructed the dry stone wall terracing in summer 2007 with assistance from George Watson.
This area was rough fellside until 2004, with gorse, heathers, grasses and hazel. A slow ground clearance programme using organic methods over the next few years included carpeting almost all of the area to kill off grass, and growing potatoes there in summer 2005.
Closest to the private end of Lawson Park, we wanted to construct a secluded, serene garden which would be at its best outside of summer, when other areas of the garden demand more attention and maintenance. Colour is minimal, and the existing tussocks of grass and heather used as an inspiration for the sculptural planting.
Lower pathway construction / boardwalk constructed summer 2008.