Winter garden: Gresgarth Hall

I promised to share more pictures from my most recent visit to Gresgarth Hall – here they are. I’ve tried to give you a quick private tour of this lovely winter garden.

Pink hellebores

It’s not often I’ve had the chance to see so many mature hellebores flowering. I wanted to try to capture a different impression of these generous plants than a picture of just one single flower can convey.

Hellebore with many flowers

It involved a fair bit of crouching, but you often get a better perspective of little things when you come down to their level.


Other late winter flowers caught my eye too, especially this clump of scillas, flowering their hearts out beneath a deciduous shrub.

Snowdrops growing on a mossy bank

I took several snowdrop pictures but liked this one best because of the contrast between the mossy, leafy woodland floor, the elegant leaves and the white double flowers. I prefer snowdrops that are sturdy plants and these ones certainly were!


A stream flows through the garden: you can glimpse its reflections in the picture above of a very natural looking double hellebore. I wondered if it was a species. I loved the contrast between the green on the inside of the petals and the purple on the backs – and the way sunlight was highlighting the picotee edge.

Winter meadow with daffodils and crocuses

The meadow had come to life with bulbs – a circle of daffodils and crocuses were naturalising at the base of an old tree.

Purple hellebore

I haven’t managed to capture the colour quite right of this hellebore, but I had to give it a try. Its stamens look like perfectly made up eyelashes to me – now that’s flower power!

To keep things short and sweet, I’ve grouped some pictures into a gallery of winter at Gresgarth Hall Gardens, including more hellebores, primroses, snowdrops and daffodils:

The day had started wet and remained overcast, but the sunshine came out just as I was about to leave. In any English garden in winter you can see the bare bones: when it’s as well structured as this one, that’s no bad thing. In summer, roses blooming on the house walls and the gazebo will bring softness, but this is a great time to admire the different levels and the neatly trimmed topiary.

Gresgarth Hall in Winter

Gresgarth Hall Gardens is a private garden that opens to the public on ten days each year. Please check their website for details if you’re planning to visit. These pictures were taken during their 2015 Hellebore Day.

If you’d like to see how this garden is transformed in summer, click here.

Living in a coldish climate, the seasons have definite rhythms and I’ve grown to appreciate them all. For me, the winter garden has a special style of beauty – I’m happy to hunt out jewels and see each new flower as a sign of spring. Let me know whether you agree!


19 Replies to “Winter garden: Gresgarth Hall”

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it – it’s one of my favourite gardens. One of the great things about blogging is it gives us glimpses into different parts of the world, and that our normal is often someone else’s exotic!

      1. Absolutely 🙂

        The kind of exposure to people, places and cultures that we get here is really overwhelming 🙂

        So nice to find your post here 🙂

  1. Lovely to see all the different hellebores. I love winter gardens and it frustrates me that so many gardens are closed until April.

    1. I was thinking of calling in at Levens Hall recently to see what they have going on, but found out that it’s not open till 5th April. I can imagine it takes a bit of work to keep gardens looking good all year round, and visitor numbers will be lower, but if they could even open once a month in late winter/early spring, it would certainly be appreciated!

      I’d love to see gardens opening for longer on the odd day at the peak of season too – it’s so much easier to take pictures earlier or later in the day.

  2. I am SO ready for spring! Your photos are beautiful. A good bit of our snow melted today, but we still won’t be planting until May. With my broken foot, I won’t even be able to check for signs of growth, so I’ll just enjoy your work!

    1. Hope you’re soon back on both feet. You don’t want to be venturing out into the snow at the moment – leave your plants to their own devices and concentrate on growing your bones back together instead.

  3. Gorgeous, gorgeous hellebores. Saw a bit on Gardener’s World last week about the breeding process for them – so interesting. The small cupped green ones always remind me of Euphorbia but they’re not related so I’m clearly looking wrong! What an amazing variety they had there. Thank you for sharing.

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