Mindrum Garden is planted to bursting point with rare old fashioned roses, hardy perennials, mature shrubs and trees. This unique garden combines intensely scented tranquil secluded corners with wide open vistas as you stroll from one area to another.
First designed in the 19th Century with lawns reaching out from the house, traditional rose gardens and extensive greenhouses and potting sheds, a limestone rock garden was bought as a display garden at the Chelsea flower show in the 1930s, reputedly after the then owners returned to England after a posting in India.
For a brief period, time was not kind to this garden, since during the 1940s, the rock garden and much of the lower garden was covered with soil and planted with Scots Pines as the upkeep became onerous. With a change of ownership in the mid 1950s, this lost garden at Mindrum was rediscovered by Pery Fairfax, painstakingly dug out and replanted. To this day, the garden continues to evolve taking the lead from nature.
A woodland walk winding up a steep bank has been created through mature Scots pines underplanted with ferns and foxgloves, providing a wonderful view of the intricate gardens with the house in the background.
The extensive borders have been planted with a wide ranging variety of old fashioned scented roses, perennials and shrubs often not seen growing in Northumberland, allowing garden lovers to drift from one area to another. Nature often determines the dominant features year on year – last year, there was a profusion of blue flowering abutilons throughout the garden, surrounded by rambling roses, violas and geraniums in abundance.
The river has played an important role for the community at Mindrum, with the hydro-electric dam providing electricity for the farm prior to the mains being installed during the 1960s. Over time, the river has changed course, and whilst the dam is now redundant, this meandering river is now SSI rated and is home to a thriving kingfisher and otter community.
Following further floods during 2013 the river again changed course taking a straighter route, exposing the original river bed which has been transformed into a stunning wildflower garden attracting many forms of insects. The resultant oxbow lake now provides old fashioned canoeing fun for the children.
Whilst there has been extensive flooding this year, the current owners, Tom and Miki Fairfax have been installing the more traditional flood defence systems throughout the farm (often on a vintage tractor!) which has meant that to date, the river has maintained it’s current course albeit flooding the wildflower garden at times.
The beginnings of a maze are emerging through part of the woodland area, and plans are afoot for a perennial vegetable garden in due course, to replace the old chicken run given that the original walled kitchen gardens have been gravelled over to provide a sheltered seating area for visitors when they stop for a relaxing cup of tea and slice of home-made cake.
For further information visit www.mindrumestate.com