We bought the farm, a derelict Victorian former hill farmstead in 1987, the tiny garden was being grazed by sheep and cattle. The original farmhouse was protected from the prevailing winds by enfolding rubble and grass banks on the south and west sides and stone outhouses, hard standing and barns on the north and east sides. Over the years we have bought more land from the farmer, about 2 acres, and developed the garden in harmony with its magnificent but challenging environment.
We have taken care to blend the boundaries of the garden into the surrounding landscape. Local natural materials have been reused and planting has been selected to allow the eye to travel easily from the garden to the unparalleled distant views. We treasure the wildlife here swallows nest in the garage, buzzards watch from posts, cuckoos fly down the hedgerows, redstarts, wagtails & wrens nest in the ancient walls, nuthatch and tree creepers inhabit the mature trees, starling and fieldfares patrol the fields, red kite circle overhead and robins, blackbirds and thrushes accompany the gardener. Bees forage in the thyme, heather and lavender banks, butterflies are encouraged by sweet scented buddleias and sedums.
Planting in the garden has been dictated by the difficult conditions, the soil is shallow heavy clay overlying loose shale, the wind is a significant factor, as is the high rainfall. Sheep and cattle enjoy the odd tasty nibble over the fences, but hopefully there is something here for everyone to enjoy.