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Gardens

The gardens surrounding Middlethorpe Hall have been extensively restored and replanted since the property was acquired by Historic House Hotels in 1980.  What remains of the previous garden includes a tall cedar al Lebanon on the main lawn, a mature red oak in the spring garden, a Turkey oak giving shade to the south east of the house a line of beech trees on the west boundary, as well as a specimen sycamore and lime trees.

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The foundation to the original garden wall at the end of the south lawn now acts as an interesting ha-ha planted with scented shrubs such as lavender and Trachelospermum.  Part of the extensive Victorian walled kitchen garden has been retained and planted with a magnificent central double herbaceous border and box edged bed containing species of old fashioned roses.

The walled kitchen garden holds herb beds, fruit trees and a mellow brick dovecote, now used as a wine cellar, clothed is Azara micropphylla and Clematis cirrhosa.  The walls themselves shelter peaches, pears, apples and plums.

To the west of the kitchen garden is the rose garden noted for the wide stone path lined with lavender, the flowers of which almost touch in the centre, and for the tall razor sharp yew hedge that surrounds it.  The white garden with its high holly hedge on one side and the kitchen garden wall on the other, is planted with white flowering plants such as Wisteria floribunda with Agapanthus campanulatus albus below, but also has blue Ceanothus as a contrast clipped to the wall.  The walk leads to the spring garden where cherry and apple trees are planted in grass around a noble red oak.

The park railings on the boundary of the spring garden finish the more manicured area and brings us to the park and arboretum with many specimen trees. The Turkey oak, Wellingtonia and Spanish chestnut are now well over 150 years old, and recent plantings include collections of birch, mountain ash, Japanese maples and cherry trees. The ground level drops to the south east where a lake has been created and low lying land is planted with trees ideally suited to waterlogged soil such as alders, willows and dogwood.

Middlethorpe is a plantsman's garden full of unusual and interesting treasures scattered throughout a maze of small gardens. It is cottage gardening on a grand scale.
 

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