Whalton Manor is a 17th century house with a beautiful three-acre garden which I discovered by complete chance, reading a gardens article in a Northumberland tourism magazine in our hotel room.
The garden only opens by appointment so I immediately emailed to see if there was any chance of a visit. Amazingly, within 24 hours, Penny, the owner, had phoned from her holiday to confirm there would be someone in the house, and so, yes, I could come!
Sadly the weather was still poor, but the garden certainly wasn’t. And to make it even more special, I was given a lovely tour by Sue, one of the (part time) gardeners,which made it even more special.
The link with the previous Lindisfarne post is that Lutyens and Jekyll spent time at Whalton Manor during the time they were working at the castle. Lutyens designed the summerhouse, fondly known by the family as ‘Caesar’s Palace.’ It’s used now for weddings and there are some gorgeous photos of sunny garden nuptials on the website.
Our route took us past this intriguing gate. Apparently many visitors discuss its ‘Lutyens credentials’, but it was in fact crafted from old lift panels under the instruction of the current owner’s father!
Into the veg area there was a good sized greenhouse, but not a tomato to be seen. Instead, it was absolutely crammed with vibrant pelargoniums. It came as quite a shock after all the misty, muted loveliness outside, but I thought it was fabulous and it has inspired me to keep some of my pelargoniums grouped in the greenhouse like this.
So thank you, both Penny and Sue, for a wonderful treat. I hope one day I’ll make it back in the sunshine.