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News from our corner of the Cumbrian Lake District

Our New Garden Seat by the Beck

Garden seat at Howe Foot

Garden seat at Howe Foot

Garden seat at Howe Foot

Garden seat at Howe Foot

The entrance to Howe Foot down our well maintained track with many alder and hazel trees either side, wild daffodils, bluebells and primroses in turn during the early and late spring, just adds to the attraction of peace and quiet for my weary travellers. Having to open a gate and drive across a little bridge with Otley Beck below is yet another quaint thing to do. The beck is absolutely fabulous for us as it gives us yet anther aspect and interesting feel to the gardens which we have created from scratch, doing the landscaping and the planting ourselves over a period of nearly 20 years. It has been an absolute joy and now our pride and joy to be able to at last enjoy a well-established, interesting and mature garden.

At the back end of last year we decided it would be a fabulous idea to clear an area of land on the other side of Otley Beck, still within the grounds of Howe Foot. This was because we really wanted a garden seat on that side of the beck. You get a totally different and exciting "feel" being just a few feet away from the main gardens and have the feeing of being at one with nature. The beck trickling past, various bushes, plants and flowers surrounding you, a high wall protecting you from the wind and the birds singing in the trees behind. Often the heron will be fishing, camouflaged well with the grey of the boulders lining the beck. A local photographer has very cleverly named the resident heron just down the road from here "Hilary!" Now I know Hilary is spelt differently whether for a male or female, but to call the bird Hilary means that you can hedge your bets as to whether it is male or female! My Howe Foot logo is of course a Grey Heron because we have a resident one so I was quite taken with this story! In future, mine will be called Hilary although I have a feeling we may have the same bird as this does wander up and down the beck freely!

Anyway, back to my story! After clearing the area in the autumn of 2019 we wood barked the area and left it to its own over the winter. Early spring we decided on what plants needed moving and started to plant up the area which we had cleared previously. Then came the exciting bit… where was the garden seat going go and what would we sit it on? Sitting down on the seat meant you would feel the seat legs sinking in to the ground! If that happened after a really wet spell you might soon be sitting quite low to the ground! We decided on long pieces of flat edging slate to go under the legs and this is covered in the bark. The sun in the afternoon is just glorious as the seat is positioned in the west and after the sun has left Otley Beck cottage patio, my guests can then use this seat for that all important glass of something before an evening meal. Getting to the seat is a lovely walk down the garden path to a small foot bridge which we are about to upgrade! I decided a nice wrought iron handrail would be lovely and Martin has suggested that we have the same in uprights and the rest of the footbridge is made of wood. After wandering over the footbridge, slate flags lead you up a path to the garden seat. Don't forget the cushion, the glass of whatever and enjoy every minute!

I have taken photos of it now for you to get the feel of where the garden seat is and I shall be back with updated photos as the planting and surrounding plants, bushes, shrubs and flowers come in to bloom.

Posted 16 May 2020

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