Winter and Spring

Late Winter and Early Spring at Holehird Gardens

During February, the Gardens herald spring with special snowdrop weekends and, in truth, Holehird Gardens on the Patterdale Road in Windermere  show a fine display.  But these Cumbrian gardens have so much more to offer on a winter weekend!  Even at the entrance to the famous walled garden, the scent of the aptly named sweet box, Sarcococca humilis lifts the spirit but what really bowls visitors over in February is the Daphne bholua by Reception.  When the sun is on it, the smell is almost overpowering.




Grasses and sculpture in snowIt is not just the bulbs and the smells that are to be enjoyed at this time of year.  The views of the Langdales and far hills with snow on their tops are a magnificent backdrop and, on a frosty morning, the grasses bed still looks fantastic with frosty fronds surrounding the Chris Brammall sculpture.  The grasses should have had their annual haircut by now but they have deliberately been left a bit later for just this magical effect.


There are hellebores all over the garden but the greatest concentration is under the Handkerchief tree with colours ranging from the pale creams, through all the pinks to an almost black.  The Alpine Houses enjoy the cold and the old oak at the top of the Garden is underplanted with cyclamen, crocus and aconites.  Further along the path is the winter interest border, proving with witch hazels, heathers, bergenias and pulmonaria that this can be a most colourful time of the year.






The 12 acre gardens are managed entirely by the Lakeland Horticultural Society, which is run by volunteers.  There is no charge for admission but the gardens are entirely dependent upon voluntary donations. Gardening continues all the year round at Holehird but Reception, which is usually closed during the winter months, is often open at weekends at the end of February.  The wardens are not experts but are all reasonably knowledgeable and have information sheets on the varieties of the plants and their location in the garden.  They will be there particularly to help visitors get the best from their visit.


Our programme of lectures, which are completely free, are held nearby, so interested gardeners and visitors can enjoy the gardens until lunchtime and complete their day with an inspirational lecture.