The Upper Garden

The Upper Garden is the most diverse area of Holehird Gardens.  It occupies the full width of the Gardens, across the slopes of the fellside, with the upper parts accessible by bark and stone paths which are steep in places.  Here you will find the rhododendron and magnolia beds, as well as the autumn and winter borders.  Rose beds and ornamental grasses can be found closer to the tarmac drive.

The large Rock Garden was the first area to be developed by the Lakeland Horticultural Society when we came to Holehird in 1969.  Nearby you will find the alpine and tufa houses, providing an opportunity for a close-up look at alpines.

The Upper Garden is also home to our four national collections - the national collections of astilbe, daboecia and polystichum each have their own location within or close to the fellside area, chosen according to the conditions they require, while the national collection of meconopsis can be seen growing in trial beds in the Paddock.

The Paddock is also where you will find the trial beds run by LHS on behalf of the RHS and other collaborating organisations.  

The Salvia trial for Which? is currently underway

21 cultivars of perennial salvias were planted in each of the 3 prepared beds in June 2021. Weekly assessments were made on the plants to score their growth. More detailed assessments were made from mid-August to September, when most plants were in flower. These included flower and foliage impact, shape of the plant, insect attraction and evidence of pest disease.

The plants have been mulched for winter and will be cut back in the spring. An additional mulching or not mulching trial is also underway with 6 Salvia Amistad plants in the fourth raised bed.

The assessments will be repeated this year, until trial completion in November 2022. This trial is also underway at Capel Manor, Middlesex where climate and conditions will be different. Results will be shared on completion.

The Paddock also boasts a fine selection of agapanthus under the stone wall - many of these plants originally came to Holehird as part of another trial some years ago. The Paddock also contains the frames and open beds used as a temporary home for plants being grown for use in the Gardens and for sale to the public.