Holehird Gardens is an extensive 10 acre site located in Windermere, Cumbria. It is the home of the Lakeland Horticultural Society. The garden consists of a large variety of plants, particularly those suited to the local climate with its high rainfall. It is made up of extensive rock and heather gardens, alpine houses, and a walled garden which is of particular interest for its herbaceous borders. It was once voted by BBC gardeners to be one of the nation’s favourite gardens.
The house at Holehird was built in the 1860s to a design by J. S. Crowther. The garden was created in the late nineteenth century by three successive owners of the mansion. The landscape architect Thomas Mawson enlarged the garden in 1902. However by 1945 it became too expensive to maintain and it was effectively abandoned and totally overgrown.
In 1969 the Lakeland Horticultural Society was formed and began to rescue the derelict garden. The staff at the gardens are all volunteers from the Lakeland Horticultural Society. They are the planters, weeders, propagators, designers and administrators. The guidebook “The Best of Britain” described it as a garden with “numerous different areas to explore including rock heather and walled gardens and herbaceous borders all bursting with colourful plants and enhanced with stunning views". The astilbes are a national Plant Heritage collection.
The garden is open to the public throughout the year. Donations are invited for the upkeep of the gardens. There are also openings as part of the National Gardens Scheme. In 2013 Holehird is one of eight venues across Cumbria participating in an NGS "daffodil day".
- The Best of Britain: The Lake District, p. 90
- 1900-05 Mawson Archive
- Longville, Tim, p.96.
- Longville, Tim 2007 “Gardens of the Lake District”, Frances Lincoln Ltd, London, p. 95
- The Best of Britain: The Lake District, p. 90.
Website of Holehird Gardens http://www.holehirdgardens.org.uk/