A Pennine Country Garden at Salvin House Alston

by | Salvin House

Creating a Pennine Country Garden

When we bought Salvin House, our first priority had to be the interiors. We tidied up the garden and had some initial groundworks done, but time and budgets meant we couldn’t do it all straight away. Now, we finally have a Cumbrian cottage garden that fits both the property and the setting, giving our guests somewhere to chill out and relax on their countryside vacation.

When we purchased the property, the outside area was a mess, dominated by a ramshackle panelled garage, surrounded by weeds and rubbish. As Salvin House Alston is a Grade II-listed building, even demolishing the garage required full planning permission, which took around three months to obtain. We’ve been told there was laughter at the parish council when they were asked to vote on it.

Anyway, that was almost a year ago, and we finally now have a garden that fits the house. We started by deciding to segregate the garden and the parking area as gates weren’t really a practical option, and many guests require a secure area for their dogs. We also decided to create a series of terraces to work with the varied levels of the garden, and we wanted to go for a country cottage theme, inspired by the legendary garden designer, Gertrude Jekyll.

Salvin House Alston garden

Borders in the Pennine Country Garden at Salvin House Alston

When we eventually got planning permission, it even stated that the fencing had to be painted sage green – that’s the sort of detail they go into. The original plan was to have a terrace for a hot tub, but we eventually decided that the maintenance for this was too much, so it’s now our washing line and barbecue terrace.

Most of the garden has been gravelled and, when we dug out the new terrace, we came across the old wash tub for the house, which has been repurposed as a wildflower planter. We also used the old sandstone paving to create edging for the borders and build an alpine rockery. To hide the ugly concrete foundation of the garage, we used artificial grass to create a contrast to the gravel, and a gazebo was also built to protect our guests from the unpredictable Pennine weather.

New Picture 8

A gazebo in the Pennine Country Garden at Salvin House Alston

Planning and Planting

The planting was a crucial part of our garden transformation. In addition to the wildflower planter, which we hope will become a magnet for bees and butterflies, we also created two deep borders and planted these with perennials based on Gertrude Jekyll’s planting schemes. One of these was actually started in 2021, so it’s already well on the way to maturity, whereas the other was started this year, so needs some time to fill out.

The final touch is a Gertrude Jekyll rose bush, which serves as the centerpiece of the border between the grass terrace and the barbecue terrace, creating a focus for a garden that should give our guests plenty of relaxation and enjoyment for years to come.

Overcoming Challenges

Creating our Pennine country garden was not without its challenges. The initial state of the garden was daunting, and securing the necessary permissions was a time-consuming process. However, these obstacles only made the final result more rewarding. By repurposing materials like the old sandstone paving and the wash tub, we were able to integrate elements of the house’s history into the garden, adding a layer of charm and continuity.

Guest Experience

The transformation of the garden has significantly enhanced the guest experience at Salvin House. The secure area for dogs is a hit with pet owners, and the various terraces provide versatile spaces for relaxation and leisure. Whether our guests want to enjoy a barbecue, unwind under the gazebo, or explore the wildflower planter, there’s something for everyone.

The sage green fencing and carefully selected plants create a harmonious and aesthetically pleasing environment. The garden is not only a place to relax but also a space that inspires and delights, with its blend of historical elements and contemporary touches.

Future Plans

As we look to the future, we have more plans to continue enhancing the garden. We aim to introduce more native plants to further support local wildlife and increase the biodiversity of our garden. Additionally, we plan to add more seating areas and possibly even a small pond to create a focal point and attract more wildlife.

The garden at Salvin House is a labor of love, and we are committed to maintaining and improving it for the enjoyment of our guests. We believe that our Pennine country garden is a perfect complement to the beautiful interiors of Salvin House, offering a complete experience of comfort, relaxation, and natural beauty.

In conclusion, creating a Pennine country garden at Salvin House has been a rewarding journey. From overcoming initial challenges to enjoying the current tranquility and beauty, the garden stands as a testament to our dedication and vision. We look forward to welcoming guests to enjoy this unique space for many years to come.

Leo Rees-Evans

Leo Rees-Evans

Since 2014 Leo has been helping small businesses in the UK stand out online, engage with their customers and accelerate online sales through powerful UX designed websites.


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