On the western shore of Derwent Water and surrounded by dramatic Lake District fells lies the Lingholm Estate. The old Victorian mansion dates back to the late 1800’s.
The Lingholm Estate's octagonal walled garden sits on the exact same spot as the old Linghom kitchen gardens. “Every mansion used to have a kitchen garden, which provided fresh vegetables for the house's kitchen,” explaines Ken, one of the estate’s gardeners. “We built this new kitchen garden and the café in 2016, on the same spot where the old one was.”
Built in a Victorian style using over 75,000 reclaimed red bricks and capped with local sandstone the garden has herbaceous borders while it’s central areas are for vegetable production that is then served fresh daily in the Lingholm Kitchen café that is located on the slope just above the gardens. “From there you have a fantastic view over the walled garden and the fells beyond.”
Lingholm has had many visitors in its long history and one of the most famous visitors was Beatrix Potter, who spent ten summers at the estate with her parents, who rented the property to spend their long summer holidays there, as all well-off Victorians used to do. There, in that beautiful Lake District setting, she made many sketches. The squirrels in The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin, who sailed the lake to Owl Island using their tails as sails, is set on Derwent Water. And the mansion’s kitchen garden is said to be one of the gardens for Mr McGregor’s garden in the Tale of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter’s most famous children’s book.
“With the garden build on the same spot as the old kitchen gardens, we like to tell the story of the Beatrix Potter and Lingholm,” Ken says. Ken has designed the garden himself and he is proud of the result. "It's nice that the current owners gave him that opportunity," he says. Ken also has a history on the estate, both his father and grandfather were gardeners on the Lingholm Estate.
And the net over the walled garden? “That’s to keep the pheasants out, although now they have eaten all of our special blue Lingholm poppies that grow just outside of the walled garden.” “But the net doesn’t stop smaller birds like robins and blackbirds from coming in, they find their way through the holes in the net and they are very welcome!” assures Ken.