Tour 12. Northumberland Tuesday 9 July

Longwitton Hall, Longwitton, Morpeth
Mr and Mrs Michael Spriggs

The six-acre garden that surrounds the 18th century house has a wonderful inheritance of mature trees sheltering it on three sides, leaving a glorious view southwards towards the Pennines. The garden has been restored and replanted in recent years by Louise and Michael Spriggs, who have added a rose garden on the main lawn, created a vista across the house to a new pond, planted a yew and lavender walk and, most spectacularly, a laburnum tunnel. This is the best sort of garden; a private garden owned by passionate gardeners

Whalton Manor, Whalton, Morpeth
Timothy Norton Esq

Whalton Manor is an intriguing house, originally 17th century, with additions firstly by Robert Lorimer and later by Lutyens. The three-acre garden was originally laid out by Miss Jekyll, whose magnificent Wisteria still covers the front of the house. Lutyens designed the entrance archway, the huge paved courtyard and the pergola, beyond which lies the garden. An ancient oak, under-planted with peonies and Anemone ‘Honorine Joubert’, shades the lawn which slopes upwards to the two Lutyens summerhouses. Yew cones and a rose border surround the old grass tennis court and behind are Lorimer’s beautifully designed stables.

Bide-a-Wee Cottage, Stanton, Morpeth
The Robson Family

Three generations of the Robson family have created the garden at Bide-a-Wee Cottage, but the driving force has been Mark Robson, now a landscape architect, who started working on the garden aged twelve. The garden, on an exposed site, is laid out around an old sandstone quarry, once filled with rubbish and now is a supremely sheltered spot, with a pool fringed with Primula, Gunnera and Rodgerias.  This is a wonderful plantsman’s garden, with a range of plants from Azaleas in the spring to Agapanthus and Nerines in late summer. The garden, which houses the National Collection of Centaurea, also has an enticing nursery.

Stanton Fence, Stanton, Morpeth
Sir David and Lady Kelly

Stanton Fence

© Country Life Images

David and Angela Kelly bought the derelict Stanton Fence for its location. The house developed organically with their family, but Arabella Lennox-Boyd designed the garden. The quality is apparent at once, as the drive curves through the sheep-grazed parkland into a Prunus ‘Tai-Haku’ and hornbeam avenue. From the entrance courtyard the garden wraps around the house in distinct spaces. In the Pergola Garden, the pergola is smothered in Rosa ‘New Dawn’ and ‘Albertine’, and a mass of Clematis ‘Perle d’Azur’. Roses are as important in the adjoining Sun Room Garden, with Rosa ‘Paul’s Himalayan Musk’, covering the house. In the Kitchen Garden the emphasis is on ornament; from box parterre, the rows of white sweet peas to the greenhouse that is home to Angela Kelly’s collection of Pelargoniums.