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Gardens in Northumberland and the Borders

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Last week Brian and I had a few days in Hexham and visited 4 gardens and one coastal site.  We were pretty lucky with the weather. Our first garden was Belsay. It is interesting in that most of the garden is in the quarry which was excavated to build the house and stable block. The ruins of the original castle are still on the site.

The quarry was much deeper and more impressive than I had imagined.

The handkerchief tree was huge and definitely the best I've ever seen.

I liked this leaf on a shrub which couldn't decide what colour it should be.

There was also a mix of species Rhodos and huge well established hybrids.

Our second day took us over the border to Scotland and Monteviot a wonderful old established garden. We arrived early but the Head gardener spotted Brian and let us in. He said there were only 3 staff to maintain it all. It is a wonderful place, they give you a map and you just follow the arrows strategically placed round the garden. Between 2 and 1/2 and 3 miles in total.

We would absolutely recommend it.

There were formal beds on the terrace and a lovely double blue geranium at eye level. A winter garden which was not very florifierous at this time of year but I liked the bark on this tree. Wonderful Azaleas still in flower this far north.


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