With a very keen interest in all things horticultural and 44 years as an enthusiastic professional gardener it was lovely, as Ormskirk Group Publicity Officer, to receive an invitation from the Ormskirk Ladies Group, who are all wives of Masons in the Ormskirk Group and hold their meetings in Ormskirk Masonic Hall, to accompany them on a visit to Peter and Sandra Curl’s iconic garden.
Last autumn, at very short notice, Peter went along to one of the group’s monthly meetings to give an illustrated talk on his garden, which he is proud to invite the public to view as part of the National Garden Scheme. Following that meeting the ladies were delighted to take up Peter’s invitation to visit in the spring and bring along their husbands and family friends. The garden which is situated adjacent to the Southport to Manchester railway line in Crabtree Lane, Burscough has an open aspect with panoramic views over the Lancashire countryside.
Peter and Sandra welcomed everyone and gave a short introduction before personally conducting a tour of the garden. Peter explained that the plot is approximately three quarters of an acre and consists of a number of hidden garden rooms with interlinking walkways. This construction allows for a diversity of habitats to be managed and for a contrast of styles to be exhibited and a wide range of plant material to be shown to its full potential.
Visitors were enthralled by the colour themed herbaceous and island beds containing shrubs and trees; the scented rose garden, a fish pond surrounded by a large rockery and a koi pond with waterfall containing a shallow area for wildlife. Also on show were a spring and woodland garden, gravel area with tender Mediterranean planting and a late summer hot bed. Other highlights worthy of mention was a hosta and fern walk and a derelict dry stone bothy and intricately constructed stone potting shed which wouldn’t have been out of place at Chelsea.
The open aspect of Peter and Sandra’s garden of course brings its own problems, with cold winds straight from the Irish Sea. Peter has reduced the potential damage that this can cause by planting a number of wind breaks and the innovative use of trees and hedging.
Peter enhanced the viewer’s experience by the clever use of strategically placed statuary and unusual objects within the garden settings. During the evening the visitors had many opportunities to ask questions and to receive the wisdom of Peter’s many years of experience.
Following the tour the visitors were treated to a welcome cup of tea or coffee and a delicious slice of Sandra’s homemade cake. Before leaving everyone had the chance to purchase from a wide selection of plants cultivated by Peter, at very reasonable prices.
There’s an open invitation for the ladies of Ormskirk Masons to join the group and further information can be obtained via email from the chairperson Diane Hampson at email@example.com or the secretary Brenda Hewitt at firstname.lastname@example.org
For information on participating gardens on display for charity under the National Garden Scheme; you can visit their web site at: www.ngs.org.uk