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The Garden at Summerdale

Our entry in the yellow book reads:

1½-acre part-walled country garden set around 18c former vicarage. Several defined areas have been created by hedges, each with its own theme and linked by intricate cobbled pathways. Beautiful setting with fine views across to Farleton Fell. Traditional herbaceous borders, ponds, woodland and meadow planting provide year round interest. Large collections of auricula, primulas and snowdrops.

The garden at Summerdale House is a fine example of what 15 years hard work and dedication along with a love of plants and traditional English garden design can achieve. Strong structural elements provide the framework for lush planting to create year round interest in the garden.

When we moved to Summerdale in 1997 the house was a wreck and the garden non-existent. It hadn’t been lived in for about 20 years but there were shadows of what had once been a cared for garden. There were good trees, a couple of paths and scatterings of metal plant labels that kept turning up in borders. However there was no semblance of structure nor nearly enough plants.(Ack. James Alexander Sinclair)

The garden has emerged, with no real masterplan but with a sensitivity for the house and its surroundings. The need for plant material led to industrious propagation by Gail, and the inevitable overspill bore the seed of the nursery which is another chapter.

The garden has regular openings in support of the national gardens scheme.

“Surrounded by farmland, the garden of David and Gail Sheals is a sublime blend of pretty planting and effortless style.” Gardens Illustrated

“Gail’s accomplished planting, together with the garden’s charm and impressive location, imbues it with interest year-round.” The Garden

Interactive garden map

Cover photo Cumbria Life 2012
©Val Corbett