A TALENTED team of gardeners are preparing to adorn one of Cumbria’s grandest properties with homegrown spring flowers as it opens its doors to the public this Friday.
Months of careful planning to make sure blooms, foliage and forced bulbs hit their peak for the first day of the 2019 season at Holker Hall, in Cark, near Grange-over-Sands, are set to come to fruition in time for the special weekend, beginning on March 15.
Head gardener Glyn Sherratt said the award-winning gardens and parkland were bountiful all year round – with skilled cut flower grower Amy Beach using seasonal flowers to create a series of arrangements for the public rooms.
“There’s always something different to see in the gardens here at Holker Hall,” Glyn explained.
“It involves a lot of hard work, but we’ve got the timing down to a fine art when it comes to having flowers and bulbs ready to decorate the house for the opening weekend.
“We also have one of the finest collections of magnolia anywhere in the north of England coming into flower now which is a spectacular sight for visitors in the spring.”
The privately-owned Grade II-listed Holker Hall and its award-winning gardens – home to The Hon Lucy Cavendish and her husband Tor McLaren – have been closed for the winter. But the estate has been a hive of activity behind the scenes.
Maintenance tasks designed to keep the elegant buildings in top condition have been completed while the hall, complete with its antiques and artwork, has been carefully cleaned.
New menus have been designed for the cafe and Ilex Brasserie, in Holker’s Courtyard, taking into account the availability of fresh and seasonable produce from the kitchen gardens just yards away.
And a new programme of daily talks in the hall as well as the gardens have been launched for the first time.
Holker Hall and Gardens new general manager Heather Creasey said the whole team was now eagerly looking forward to welcoming thousands of visitors to the attraction throughout the 2019 season.
“The gates at Holker Hall are closed during the winter but this is when a huge amount of work takes place behind the scenes to get everything ready for the year ahead.
“Now, the hall and grounds look stunning and everyone here is excited to see people enjoying this magical property once again.
“We’ve also got a packed programme of events planned for this year as well as daily talks and tastings in and around the hall and gardens so we hope visitors will make Holker Hall a firm favourite for a day out.”