Garden offers veritable feast for the eyes

Date: Friday 22nd July 2011

ON a sunny evening in early July, the members and friends of Greystoke WI embarked on their annual evening outing, which had been masterfully arranged by Mrs. Eileen Lund, the outings secretary.

She had arranged for everybody to visit what was one of the most fascinating gardens that the WI had seen for a long time. This was at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Nichol Coulson, Warnell Hall, near Sebergham. They were welcomed in the courtyard by Mrs. Lynn Brunetti, one of the two talented gardeners working at the hall, the other being William Mark.

Lynn explained that the gardens were not generally open to the public, only on rare occasions when small groups were shown around for donations to the Coulsons’ favourite charity, Hospice at Home.

The hall itself had undergoing many transformations since its first occupancy in 1683. At one time it had been a farm and some of the buildings were there to this day, though used for entirely different purposes than that which had been originally intended. The hall had come on to the market in late 2000 and, after falling in love with the house and its surroundings, the Coulsons bought it and moved in the following year.

Lynn said most of the garden had been restored over the last few years, bringing it more into the traditional design that its original owners would have seen. The herbaceous border was Mrs. Kate Coulson’s masterpiece, she said. Indeed Kate had enjoyed designing her garden so much she had enrolled in a gardening course and now designs gardens professionally.

Lynn led members on a leisurely stroll around the beautifully landscaped grounds, first stopping at the main gate to admire the elegant topiary and the lovely climbing roses meandering along the walled garden.

In another part, surrounded by small box hedges, were planted a colourful selection of vegetables. A Victorian-style greenhouse had many keen gardeners envious of the size of their tomatoes!

Through an arch all were amazed by a veritable feast for the eyes Kate’s herbaceous border was truly her masterpiece. Lupins, euphorbias, astrantias, alliums, agapanthus, all of the same pink and purple hues, were divided by occasional clumps of lady’s mantle and dark red poppies. Those with cameras were in photographic heaven.

It was nice to wander along the rows of sweet smelling roses and the delicately fragrant lavenders.

Lynn said that there was always a lot of work to do there, for instance it took William two days alone to cut the grass! They were both having an ongoing battle with the local wildlife which insisted on eating some of the young yew trees they had planted.

Everybody was impressed with Lynn’s immense knowledge and enthusiasm for all the plants and shrubs. It was no surprise to learn she had gained so much of her expertise while working previously at Levens Hall.

The president, Mrs. Christine Stockdale, thanked Lynn for showing members around. The evening was finished off by a delicious meal at Denton House, Hesket-new-Market. Thanks were given to Mrs. Lund for organising such an enjoyable event.