Herterton Country Garden ~ July 2022 ~ part 1

After lunch in Morpeth (see the previous 2 posts ) we toddled West for a few miles to visit Herterton House & Gardens, which we somehow hadn’t known about until this month. This was a treat and I wish we’d known about it sooner.

I can’t do a ‘history bit’ as usual, as the Garden is the lifelong work of Frank and Marjorie Lawley, both now in their eighties and still working on the garden in spite of health issues. The house and grounds were leased to them by the National Trust for 50 years, which is due to finish in 3 years time, when it will revert to the trust, and Marjorie and Frank will have to find a care home or somesuch in which to live out their lives. That seems cruel to me, they should be allowed to live in their home which they’ve worked so hard on, even if the Trust take over the work needed in the garden. But who knows what will happen?

Marjorie and Frank were both trained artists, meeting and falling in love back in the 60’s when they were learning their craft, but both fell in love with gardening when living in their first home, a cottage on the Wallington Estate, where Marjorie’s Dad was a stonemason. To cut a long story shortish, they were offered the lease to Herterton House through their contact with Trust officials at Wallington, and in spite of there being little to recommend it, i.e no roof on the house and mould on the walls, the land around it a complete mess, they decided to take it on. Apart from a year when 3 people from the government ‘job creation’ scheme came to help, the majority of the work has been done by Marjorie and Frank, and they’re still at it, with the help of one chap in his 70’s!

Frank wrote a book about their lives, and how they started out, the people they met and learned about plants, flowers and gardening from, how they sourced the antique furniture and pieces for the house, another labour of love, and he dedicated it to his Marjorie, who now has alzheimer’s sadly. It is a beautiful book, and a must for keen gardeners I think, but also for anyone creative, it was a joy to read. There are photo’s of the before and afters, the plans Marjorie drew up for the gardens and some of their artwork.

We met Frank, and he talked to us about it all, and pointed out things for us to see, whilst Marjorie carried on with her job in the garden. There are 4 sections to the garden, the flower garden, the formal garden, the physic garden and the fancy garden, Sophie and I did them all, and here are some photos.

Firstly a couple of shots from the photos we saw in the gazebo

Marjorie making pathways
Frank & Marjorie gathering up stones
Marjories plan for one of the gardens
The formal garden
In the flower garden looking back from the house toward the gazebo.
the gazebo

some views from the gazebo

One of the buildings next to the house is an old byre, it contains a couple of statues with bits missing which i think were given by either Wallington or Alnwick, I forget which

the falconer

also on the wall of the byre is one of only seven three-faced Scottish sundials in this country

Pesky sundial ๐Ÿ™‚

There is a pretty wild flower area next to the carpark too.

Next time we’ll have a look at some individual flowers, and there will be a film friday post to go with this at some point (when I get the scans back!) so stay tooned!

54 thoughts on “Herterton Country Garden ~ July 2022 ~ part 1

  1. Lovely snaps; the one of the falconer is particularly beautiful. Shame to spoil it by playing to the lowest common denomenator with the slight on Scots, a repeated theme I’ve noticed and will be formally reporting to the Scottish parliament.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Herterton wasnโ€™t on my radar either. Thanks for posting about itโ€ฆ Iโ€™m not a fan of the National Trust (and their treatment of these wonderful garden creators doesnโ€™t change that) though After seeing your photos Iโ€™m tempted to go.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They’ll probably keep the garden open and convert the house into luxury holiday rentals as they’ve done with Crook Hall and Morpeth castle gatehouse. The NT play no part in Herterton so it’s definitely worth a visit!

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  3. My goodness, what a lovely story, and a true labor of love. You got to actually meet Frank! I do hope sense prevails three years down the road and they’re allowed to remain in the house.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. This is absolutely stunning. What an incredible labor of love. Do you have the link to the book. Sounds like a fascinating story. Thanks for sharing this Fraggle, I don’t know why but it’s inspiring to see what human creativity and hard work can accomplish. Hope they can stay! Hugs, C

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