Our half-acre walled garden (built in 1950) is one of the particularly special places at Scargill House. It provides a tranquil spot for a stroll or to sit and contemplate the beauty around you.
The thick stone walls are about 15 feet high, creating a warmer microclimate which, along with the greenhouse, allows an unusual variety of plants to flourish. These include a Ginkgo tree and two snakeskin maples, (which are native to China) and a crimson glory vine.
A kitchen garden
In the days when Scargill was a private home and also in the early years of its life as a Christian community, this was initially a kitchen garden providing fruit and vegetables for residents and locals. Later it fell into disuse. Renovation work began in the late 1980s under Estate Managers Peter Renew (appropriate name!) and then Alan Iles. Alan redesigned the garden and planted thousands of trees on the upper estate. In the walled garden, Alan incorporated both productive areas and more formal decorative gardens which he divided into ‘rooms’. These spaces had a degree of separation and privacy, but could be glimpsed from other areas to entice visitors to explore.
A hundred volunteers
The garden was lovingly cared for by volunteers over the years, even while the site was closed, although many plants became overgrown and overcrowded. Since Scargill re-opened in 2009 this work has moved forward, taking inspiration from Alan Iles’ earlier design. It is now managed using gardening practices in keeping with our principle of sustainable stewardship of God’s creation.
More than a hundred wonderfully committed volunteers have put in a huge amount of work to make the garden beautiful again, and a combination of regular volunteers over the year and working groups continue to support its development.
Both working and ornamental
The ‘working’ part of the garden is focused on high-value, low-maintenance produce such as cutting flowers, herbs, soft fruit and rhubarb.
The larger ornamental part is designed simply to be enjoyed by guests and community. Our guests treasure it for its tranquillity and growing beauty.
Scargill’s wonderful and historic walled garden is now linked to the Quiet Garden Trust. This charity has established a network of over 300 gardens and quiet places worldwide. These provide opportunities for prayer, silence, reflection, the appreciation of beauty, and for healing through God’s love.