Each year at Holker Hall & Gardens in Cumbria a new explosion of flora awaits the visiting public and 2011 will be no different. The planting schemes are always incredibly ambitious and this year will be no exception, 58,000 bulbs have already been planted in preparation for next season, 50% more than last year. The team of gardeners have been working tirelessly through the cold days of late autumn and winter to lift the old borders and replant the new season's floral schemes.
For 2011 the formal border scheme will be made up of wallflowers and ornamental brassicas, offering some early spring burst of colour. Snowdrops and crocuses will appear in the woodland gardens and wildflower meadow in early spring. There will be a spread of hyacinths along with 13,000 mixed tulip varieties adding height to the borders, with early, mid and late spring flowering bulbs lasting through to late May.
One of Lady Cavendish's special projects for next season is the planting of 8,000 polyanthus which if successful will spread like waves through the wildflower meadow in seasons to come.
The Gardens at Holker Hall in Cumbria are the product of many generations of the Cavendish family, with each leaving their own lasting mark. Lord and Lady Cavendish devote a lot of time and effort to developing the Gardens along with the head gardener Yvonne Cannon.
Yvonne sees her role in the garden as a facilitator of ideas; she spends many an afternoon walking around the various parts of the gardens with Lord and Lady Cavendish talking along the way about possible planting schemes, changes to garden walks and maintenance work that may need undertaking. Lord and Lady Cavendish have a very personal involvement in both the planning and development of the Gardens and as such Yvonne has come to look upon it as a private garden that just happens to be open to the public.
While the gardens are closed during the winter, the Neptune Cascade and Fountain will be refurbished, taking them back to the original condition and making the most of the local slate so that it glistens in the spring sunshine.
Holker Hall & Gardens will open for spring half term from Saturday 12th until Sunday 27th February offering a sneak preview of the gardens before they open for the 2011 season on Mothering Sunday, 3rd April 2011. The Hall will be open Sunday to Friday from 11.00 am - 4.00 pm and the gardens from 10.30 am - 5.30 pm. Entrance to the Hall & Gardens is £11.50 for adults, £10.00 for concessions and £6.00 for children (6-15). A family ticket is £29.50. Groups of 10 or more people will benefit from reduced rates.