Spring Gardening Holidays                      

May 10th - 15th 2015             

May 31st - June 5th  2015  

Designed to take in and experience the vibrant fresh colours of springtime in the dynamic scenery of the Lake District, these 5-night holidays include accommodation, full breakfast and 3-course dinner each day. A coach is provided to transport you to the gardens listed below. giving more time to enjoy the scenery.

The garden visits include both large and small local gardens - some of which are not normally open to the public, with a chance to meet their owners and enjoy some beautiful gardens at a lovely time of year.

David Haigh is your tutor / guide and will be with you for the duration of the holiday to inform and answer your questions.


Matson Ground, Windermere
This garden is constantly changing under the management of Head Gardener Andrew Morgan.  The 2 acre formal garden designed by Thomas Mawson is a mix of established borders, wildflower areas and a stream which leads to a large pond and developing arboretum.  Additional features include a rose garden, a rock garden and topiary terrace borders.  A visit to the walled kitchen garden with its raised beds, fruit trees and greenhouses is an uplifting experience.

The Gardens at Brockhole, Winderemere
Brockhole Gardens were designed by the internationally renowned garden designer Thomas Mawson.  They consist of a series of south and west facing terraces which slope gently down to the shores of Lake Windermere.  There are formal and informal plantings including meadow and woodland areas.  Some of Mawson’s original plantings still remain including some fine specimen trees, Rhododendrons, Wisteria and Magnolias, however this recently renovated garden is home to many interesting and unusual plants.

8 Oxenholme Road, Kendal
John and Frances Davenport have created a magical garden with year round interest.  Approximately half an acre in size, the garden runs all round the house and includes two small ponds, woodland plant areas and a gravel garden at the front.  Frances is a very talented artist and John creates beautiful pottery.  Both paintings and pottery will be an added attraction when we visit this garden.

Halecat Nursery,  Witherslack
In late February 2009 Abi and Tom Attwood became tenants of Halecat Nursery.  This was a nursery which once had good reputation but had since fallen into disrepair and had ceased trading.  They closed the nursery, carried out a two year restoration and now this very attractive nursery stocks a wide range of plants, most of which are propagated on site.  Our visit will include a practical demonstration by Tom on ‘The Use of Perennials in Containers’.

The Mill House, Sebergham
Kay Jefferson trained as a textile designer before becoming a garden designer and this 4 acre garden is testament to her skill in using shape, texture and colour in sophisticated combinations.  This garden is full of joyful experiences from the gravel garden next to the house to the formal potager, the beautiful pond adjacent to the water wheel restored by Kay’s husband Richard (a retired architect) and an extensive wildflower meadow running down to the river Caldew.

Winton Park, Kirkby Stephen
Anthony Killvington’s expanding country garden is bordered by the banks of the river Eden with stunning views to the Cumbrian fells.  Planted areas include woodland walks with many fine conifers and Japanese acers underplanted with ferns and hostas.  Twin herbaceous borders sweep majestically away from the front of the house leading the eyes to the open countryside.  In the region of 1000 roses reach their peak in summer and in spring a large bank of rhododendrons takes centre stage with formal water features, statuary and a wildlife pond.

Henley Syke, Catterle
n, near Penrith
Joan Cave’s small garden is a horticultural gem which never fails to delight visitors.  Her skill in the use of plants to create the most beautiful pictures is truly inspiring.  This garden has many memorable features including a stream, water features, garden sculptures, a shed with a green roof and extremely tasteful hard landscape elements.

Gardeners Question Time
A chance to seek answers to any gardening problems with David Haigh, and guest Shelagh Todd.  Shelagh is horticultural Section Leader at Newton Rigg College.  She is very highly regarded both for her horticultural knowledge and for her ability to impart this knowledge.  Over the years she has inspired dozens of students to achieve their maximum potential.

David Haigh
has been in horticulture all his working life.  Thirty of these years were spent in horticultural education.  His last post was as Head of Horticulture at Newton Rigg College, near Penrith.  He is a holder of the Royal Horticultural Societies ‘Master of Horticulture’ qualification.  Semi-retired he divides his time between freelance garden writing, running practical training courses and hosting garden holidays.  David likes to keep his hands in the soil by tending two allotments where he grows a wide range of fruit and vegetables.  His other great passion is cooking and this usually involves using his home grown produce.


All prices are per person for the 5 night holiday and include morning coffee, full English breakfast, 3-course Dinner and VAT @ 20%.  Non-particiapting partners are welcome at a reduction of £30 on the above prices.

deposit of £150 per person is required for the holidays, which is non-refundable unless the room is subsequently relet; cancellation insurance is available.