The Seasons

The gardens of the Lake District are, on the whole, best in the Spring or Autumn but, at Holehird, there is something of interest all the year round.

Upper Garden in winter



There is, in fact, a special winter interest bed and, nearby, the winter heathers.  Not only are the strong structures of the garden enhanced in the snow, but wildlife in the garden gives itself away as can be seen by the fox's footprints in the Hydrangea Walk.


The strong scent of the Daphne bholua by the Nicholson Gates makes visitors stop in their tracks in February. 


The snowdrops on the field edge are the earliest signs of spring, closely followed by the winter cyclamen and other bulbs as well as the small Lakeland daffodils which look particularly spectacular on the Orchard Slope.






Helleborus Wilgenbroek Yellow



By April there is a great variety of hellebores in the davidia border and the winter garden, with colour in the scree and alpine beds.  The Alpine houses themselves have a reliable show throughout the year.  In April the drive is a picture lined with wild cherries in blossom.


At the same time the skunk cabbage by the pool and the dog tooth violets and snake's head fritillaries on the grassy mound by the car park come to life.









By May the interest in the garden has shifted to the magnolias, camellias, and rhododendrons and the Davidia tree bracts hang down like handkerchiefs.


The  Himalayan blue poppies in the National Collection of Meconopsis are at their best in June and, at this time, hostas, dicentra and hybrid day lilies take over from hellebores in the Davidia bed.


Although always colourful, the The Walled Garden's herbaceous borders and island beds are particularly stunning in July and August and this is also the time for the National Collection of Astilbe, and the rose beds.





Walled Garden in Summer

In August and September the star performesr are the hydrangea whose blooms continue into autumn as the rest of the gardens put on a show of fruits, berries, seeds and leaf colour, particularly from the many maples and azaleas.  One of the most striking combinations is that of the red leaves of the Euonymus alatus underplanted with a bed of autumn gentian.


The fly agarics (Amanita muscaria) come up under the silver birches in the car park and the group of cotoneasters have been planted on the Orchard slope for their coloured leaves and berries to catch the autumn late afternoon sun.


These cotoneasters keep their berries into the snows of winter and so we come full cycle!