Since 2014 we have been re-developing our garden. When we first moved to Gardener's Cottage in 2002, the garden was mainly laid out to lawn and island beds. Lovely though it was, mowing the lawn is time consuming and a waste of energy. Together with the desire for more planting and creation of wildlife habitat to increase biodiversity it was decided that the lawn should be dramatically reduced in size. Over a period of about 4 months, barley straw was used to clear the large expanse of lawn occupying most of the garden see 'Barley Straw Mulch' .
After clearing the lawn, the beds were laid out, edged with local stone and planted up. Mulch is applied everywhere - the pathways with woodchip and the beds and borders mainly with our home made QR compost and spent hops from a local brewery.
The borders were planted up with a diverse range of plants including many native wild flowers, herbs, grasses, herbaceous perennials and shrubs. The intent being to look natural, beautiful, provide habitats and attract wildlife hence establishing ecosystems to prevent pests gaining stronghold. A varied range of insects, small mammals and birds are often seen frequenting the garden- a good indicator that the garden is attractive to wildlife,
Over the years, the mass incorporation of organic mater into the soil, through our home made compost and natural mulches brought in from local waste materials, has dramatically improved the garden in many environmental aspects.
For garden opening times, address and map, please see contact details.
First Records of the Natural History of Northumberland
In the garden you will see a bed of wild flowers historically associated with the mid-Tyne valley. The names of some of these plants, such as loosestrife and monkshood, go back to the 16th century. They were devised by the Morpeth physician and clergyman William Turner (c.1508-1568). He was the first Englishman to write about birds and fishes – he identified the dipper and remarked on porpoises swimming off the NE coast – and the first to compose in English a detailed survey of medicinal plants. His writings, representing 30 years’ work conducted in England and Europe, enable us to extrapolate the first records of some features of the natural history of Northumberland. These have been collected and analysed in an illustrated gazetteer of Turner’s references to birds, fishes and plants written by Dr Marie Addyman for the Friends of William Turner, Morpeth. Click here to go to our store pages and order a copy of ''The Natural History of the North in Tudor England ' by Dr. Marie Addyman.
The view down the mulched, long path leading towards the house. The path is flanked by the the veg plot and greenhouse on the right and a long herbaceous border on the left. The fabulous grey, upstanding cones of the korean pine and enormous rhubarb leaves , measuring up to 1m across, usually invoke comment from visitors