I first visited the gardens at Yewbarrow House several years ago, and they were so good I visited again… and again!
The gardens belong to a private house perched on the side of a hill in Grange-over-Sands, and their owner, hotelier Jonathan Denby, opens them up to the public four times each year to raise money for charity as part of the National Garden Scheme (visitors can also see the gardens on other dates with prior arrangement).
Set on the side of Morecambe Bay, Grange-over-Sands became a popular seaside resort in Edwardian times with the arrival of the railway, and due to its situation has a fantastic microclimate – perfect for growing a wide variety of plants you wouldn’t normally expect to find in Cumbria!
I last visited Yewbarrow in August last year – it’s a shame it wasn’t a sunnier day (in fact I did get a bit wet near the end of my look round!), but I had a great time as always anyway. I also enjoyed listening to a brass band playing far in the distance – in fact, I’ve heard it twice when visiting the gardens (presumably a local band playing sometimes on a Sunday)!
The gardens are divided into several distinct areas, and the owners like to tackle one major section each winter – that means that there should be something new to see every year! It’s lovely to go back to any garden repeatedly and to see what’s changed and what’s grown, but especially so here. Here are just a few of the things to see on a visit to Yewbarrow:
There’s so much else to see as well, including the Sunken Garden, Sculpture Garden and Japanese Garden with a pool that has an infinity edge looking over Morecambe Bay, but if you want to see more you’ll have to visit for yourself!
For details of when Yewbarrow House is open, visit the garden’s profile on the NGS website. You can also take a look at the garden’s own website, which tells more of the story behind its design. In 2015, Yewbarrow raised £6,255 for NGS charities, bringing the total raised over the last 10 years to an incredible £57,700.
If you weren’t already aware of the National Garden Scheme, you must get hold of one of Cumbria NGS’s free guides, which are available at tourist information centres and in leaflet racks across the Lakes. You can also search for gardens near to you on the NGS website. A huge number of private and commercial gardens open up for charity each year, and visiting other people’s plots can make a really great afternoon out and provide lots of inspiration – there’s usually tea and cake too!
Have you been to any of Cumbria NGS’s open gardens? What did you enjoy the most? Let us know by leaving a comment below.