Lawson Park, East of Lake Coniston
TELEPHONE: 015394 41050
5m E of Coniston. From Coniston Village follow signs East of Lake/Brantwood, car park signed 1m after Brantwood car park. Please use free minibus (runs every 10 mins) from Machell's Coppice car park. On foot 10 mins steep walk up established footpath from car park.
Historic hill farm overlooking Coniston, which since 2001 has been restored to a working smallholding, productive and ornamental gardens, and artist's residency base. Approx 5 acres of reclaimed fellside in spectacular setting. Informal herbaceous, woodland, bog and wild gardens (incl wild flower meadow) and organic kitchen garden with apiary. Many experimental plantings and unusual seed-grown perennials and trees. Wildlife includess deer, red squirrels, badgers, bats and slow worms. Produce for sale.
OPENING DATES AND TIMES:
Adm £3.50, chd free (share to Grizedale Arts)
Day & Early Evening Opening, teas & wine, Sun 24 Aug (12-7). Visitors also welcome by appt July to Sept only, groups of between 10 - 20 (on site parking by prior arrangement).
NB - Lawson Park farmhouse is currently in the process of a major refurbishment, and is not part of this event
We just got accepted for the NGS open garden scheme! We first offered ourselves up a few years ago, but were scuppered by the dodgy access issues and -ahem- lack of hard landscaping on the site, making it all a bit hazardous for the typical NGS mature visitor!
This time however, the building works are on track so we plan to open late August 2008.
Meanwhile we have planted - exploiting the sodden August weather - our bog at last with a yellow colour scheme throughout: Primula bulleyana, primula sikkemensis and the splendid yellow and purple veined iris 'Holden Clough' with a few carex grasses and evergreen ferns intermingled.
Though I've spent a fair amount of time in Japan in the last few years, I sadly didn't manage to meet any of the country's many highly skilled gardeners.
'Niwaki' by Jake Hobson (Timber Press) is thus a godsend for the gradual Japanification that is happening in the garden as much as in the kitchen here.
We have plans to place a Japanese Tea House in our meadow, and to form a bridge between it and the native plants all around I decided to prune some of the very characterful ancient hawthorn nearby in the 'Niwaki' style. Of course I forgot to take the 'Before' picture, but here is the 'After'. The process basically means pruning, tying down and staking trees to 'fake' a kind of premature aging, concentrating on encouraging horizontal growth, 'pads' of foliage, and opening up views into the bark and limbs of the specimen. With already ancient trees like this one, the process is a little easier and faster than it might be with, say, a new bonsai - which is more or less the same process but smaller.
No idea how these self-sown trees will take to this treatment, so watch this space for a 2008 report.