For many years now it has been somewhat of a family tradition of ours to have a short break somewhere in the UK on August bank holiday weekend. This year was no exception and we spent a wonderful few days in sunny Northumberland.
A day trip to Alnwick Garden was both inspiring and nostalgic for me as it was during my first visit here, nine years ago, that I was inspired to get into the world of horticulture. This time round I particularly enjoyed the stunning display of mature Hydrangeas in the Ornamental Garden and seeing the swinging seats en masse in the Cherry Orchard.
Alnwick Castle was also a site to behold, and though my family may have been enthralled by the fact that it was a ‘Harry Potter’ filming location I was much more interested in its setting. The landscape, of course, was designed by local Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown, a friend of the 1st Duke of Northumberland.
Another of the trip’s highlights was stumbling across Gertrude Jekyll’s Walled Garden at Lindisfarne Castle on Holy Island. Having done no research before the visit I was pleasantly surprised to see a floriferous display in such an isolated and exposed location. Unsurprisingly Jekyll’s design has stood the test of time; the hardy annuals and perennials are mapped out to her original plan giving a sense of stepping back in time.
Finally, the weekend was rounded off with several walks along the beach, a perfect way to experience Northumberland’s breathtaking coastline.