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Dalemain, near Penrith named the 2013 Garden of the Year

PUBLISHED: 00:04 03 May 2013

LAN May gardens to visit

LAN May gardens to visit

not Archant

One of lakeland’s loveliest gardens has been singled out for national recognition

Five acres of heaven in a glorious corner of Lakeland have just become one of Britain’s horticultural treasures. Dalemain, nestled in the Lake District, has been named the 2013 Garden of the Year in a prestigious national competition staged by the Historic Houses Association and the auction house, Christie’s.

Dalemain mansion and historic gardens are set against the grandeur and picturesque splendour of the Lakeland fells and parkland. This mixture of mediaeval, Tudor and early Georgian house and its flourishing gardens have been home to the same family since 1679.

The historic gardens were once used to produce healing and culinary herbs for the house. When Sir Edward Hasell bought the estate in the 1680s he and his wife, Dorothy, created a more architectural and fashionable garden. The traditions started back then continue today under the guidance of hands-on owner, Jane Hasell-McCosh.

There are some remarkable specimens to be seen. For instance, the Abies Cephalonica, or Greek fir, planted in the 1840s by Mrs. Dorothea Hasell, was given as a seedling by Joseph Banks, a plant collector who sailed on the Endeavour with Captain Cook. It is now the oldest and largest specimen in the UK.

The thriving Terrace Border over-flows with architectural plants and is a popular place for visitors to admire the views. There is also a Tudor knott garden, woodland, and a children’s garden.

Jane said: ‘I am delighted to have received this prestigious award which recognises the hard work over many years by a dedicated team who have helped me to love and care for the garden. My dream has been to make it a place for anyone and everyone.’

Rose Harper, the head gardener, added: ‘I started by working as a guide in the house for one season, and then moved into the garden. It’s a wonderful garden with a strong sense of place, very tranquil and full of history. The period of interest has grown so that it is beautiful from snowdrops and aconites right through the summer until the frosts, and we have spent much thought and energy in putting together a good combination of plants.’

The garden features almost 30 different types of 18th and 19th century named apple trees, which are used in the tearoom’s delicious recipes, from soups to pies. The fruit harvested is stored on Victorian shelves in the 16th century grotto above the Dacre Beck at the top of the garden.

The central focus of the garden is the old-fashioned roses. Visitors can enjoy a bountiful vision of roses throughout the warmer months from May until August. The Rose Walk is filled with more than 150 different varieties of classic roses with climbers under-planted with shrub roses. Some say they are so densely planted they resemble woven fabrics. In fact, the whole of Dalemain is a rich tapestry.

Dalemain, near Penrith, is open Sunday to Thursday, 10:30am-5:00pm. Satnav users should programme CA11 0HB. For more information log onto www.dalemain.com

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