Gresgarth Hall Gardens
Gresgarth Hall
Gresgarth Hall Gardens is a beautiful 12-acre garden on a sloping site above a tributary of the River Lune. The garden is arranged as a series of terraces below the historic Gothic-style house of Gresgarth Hall.

Gresgarth is the creation of the garden designer Arabella Lennox-Boyd. Over the course of almost 40 years, Lennox-Boyd has created a superb garden full of rare plants, many sourced personally on plant-hunting trips abroad to such far-flung destinations as Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

Lennox-Boyd began her career by designing gardens for her friends and went on to become one of the most sought-after garden designers in Britain. She counts among her former clients the Duke of Westminster and the rock star Sting. Her designs are known for their colourful herbaceous borders, overflowing with hostas and roses.

The garden is laid out as a series of terraces above Artle Beck, a tributary of the Lune. The steep-sided valley location limited Lennox-Boyd's options so she was forced to play arrange terraces and their plants by height and level. The garden is centred around an elongated lake that runs unusually close to the house. The lake curves away from the house into the shape of the terraces like a comma.

Gresgarth Hall Gardens feature colourful plants, with a predominance of pink, silver-white, and purple blossoms, meant to complement the grey stone of the mansion. A variety of zodiacal signs are created by pebble mosaic. Near the garden terrace is a kitchen garden.

The valley sides are lush with rare and unusual trees and shrubs, with many Japanese varieties. The Oriental theme is continued with a Chinese bridge crossing Artle Beck at the bottom of the valley. In amongst the foliage are scattered sculptures and follies, both classical and modern in style. There are circular walks around a peaceful lake, and colourful planted borders to enjoy.

The garden is divided into separate 'rooms' by a complex arrangement of hedges. The valley sides have been planted with over 7,000 rare trees and shrubs including a handkerchief tree (Davidia involucrata), silver birch, meconopsis, and flowering dogwoods. Varieties are chosen to provide colour throughout the year.

The garden is dotted with modern and neoclassical sculptures and follies like an obelisk. An Oriental bridge guides visitors across the swiftly-running beck.

Gregarth Hall has its roots in the medieval period but the present house was built in 1802 for Thomas Edmondson. Parts of the medieval house are incorporated into the 19th-century building. The house is not open to visitors but the gardens are regularly open throughout the year (usually on the second Sunday of the month but please check the official website for current dates and times).