The dog's holiday part 3 (Dalemain and Holker Hall)

Dear Monty,

Here is the final instalment of this tour with dog.

If only we were all hardy perennials in a beautiful garden.

Day 10

We trundled up north over mountains and down to Ullswater and on to Dalemain.

Ullswater was wordless - Wordsworth had words I have none.


I thoroughly enjoyed Dalemain , It is of course set in its landscaped garden with view out toward the hills carefully choreographed. It respects its landscape and is structured but not overly styled or gardened to within an inch of its life like Levens. It has smaller gardens to its side which have been allowed to develop and there are beautifully managed 'wild' areas.

The stumpery and the wild garden next to the river - had a feeling of intimacy and individuality which was much stronger here. I gained encouragement as an amateur from seeing how plants were used, and I could see links with my own garden which was a joy because I intuitively feel my way along the gardening road. The terrace garden and the parterre did not flow together as it looked as though the parterre was once the walled vegetable garden ? But I loved it nonetheless.

A breath of fresh air.

Toff was not allowed in the gardens so we took him for a ramble back to Ullswater and Aira Force.
The waterfall thundered.

Day 11

Swallows and not quite amazons, mint cake and steamers.

Shore trail
Conniston Water
Diving ducks, distant steamers
Empty pontoons
Gentle lapping edge of quiet water
Interrupted by
Canoes pulled up
A gaggle of boys swallowing pizza and mint cake
And skimming stones.


Day 12

Holker Hall

Holker is very much a tourist destination with lots of signage, well planned car parks and visitor movement through the system. It is a well oiled machine. BUT - though every bit as gardened as Levens - they have been open to change and have not clung rigidly to history so it has a vitality of its own.

An example of this change is the former tennis courts - they are simple, geometric and well clipped.
Planted at the time of my visit with an injection of blue forget-me-not interspersed with white tulips. There was symmetry with placed urns, and topiarised willow-leafed pears. Incredibly there were laurel arches/tunnels clipped tight. Laurel is a thug, it amazed me that this level of sharpness could be achieved !

The Italianate cascade and fountain makes me want to visit Italy even more. There was parkland with follies and a beautiful sundial. At the top of the cascade there stood a statue which while I contemplated it to make a photograph, suddenly became the 3 graces ?

Hugh Cavedish  the incumbent at Holker has a good philosophy - which made me warm to this place. On the subject of the gardens with their scents, statuary, light, shade and colours he states, "... all these things combine to make our souls gentler and more loving"




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