Borwick and Priest Hutton

Claire Helme

01524 732818

THE changing fortunes of Lowther Castle and its once-elaborate gardens was the topic of the November meeting of Borwick and Priest Hutton Gardeners’ Club.

At one time the envy of many in the north of England, the gardens were on a similar scale to the best in Europe, comprising ‘rooms’ of different planting styles within extensive parkland surrounding the house itself.

Failing financial health led to the garden becoming wild in the 1930s and the house derelict in 1957 when all but the facade was demolished.

Fortunately, there are plans and records describing the gardens in their heyday and a new enthusiasm to repair and recreate the eastern, western and terrace gardens and return them to former glory.

Alpines, Acers, many climbing and scented plants, and 25,000 roses contributed to the effect of a garden entwined around ponds and water features still existing today, albeit dry. There is a long way to go but Janet Niepoksjcycka brought members of the club up to date with her stimulating description and collection of slides charting recent progress.

This meeting marked the 30th anniversary of the club. Several founder members and past chairmen attended the meeting and the light supper provided by members allowed memories to be exchanged.

There is no meeting in December. The club meets again on January 28 for a short annual meeting, after which renowned plants man and designer Tom Attwood will explain how his observation of roadside verges inspires his work

Visitors are always welcome for the nominal price of £3.