This is a Garden ups for grown

Lancashire Life - - LAKE DISTRICT LIFE -

Read­ers can visit this Ley­land garden dur­ing the sum­mer to ex­pe­ri­ence some of the de­lights created by an ex­pe­ri­enced plantswoma­n. LINDA VINEY re­ports

Like so many peo­ple, the roots of Mau­reen Dug­gan’s pas­sion for gar­den­ing can be traced back to her par­ents. By the time she started school, she knew the names of a host of plants and loved help­ing her dad grow vegeta­bles. When she reached adult­hood and had her own garden, she re­alised just how much knowl­edge she had ab­sorbed and set about putting it to good use.

She started cre­at­ing the garden be­hind her bun­ga­low – which backs on to Wor­den

Park in Ley­land – 20 years ago. Since then, she has created a kalei­do­scope of colour from a mix of plants and shrubs in­clud­ing some un­usual peren­ni­als like a senna plant. Most have been cho­sen with wildlife in mind.

‘I stick to peren­ni­als and bulbs as an­nu­als are too time con­sum­ing,’ she said. ‘I love prop­a­gat­ing and tak­ing cut­tings and grow­ing from seed, which en­ables me to give plants to friends as well as sell­ing some for char­ity. There is noth­ing nicer than grow­ing something for oth­ers to en­joy.’

Seed heads are left over win­ter for the birds and Mau­reen’s work starts in spring as the bulbs start com­ing into flower, herald­ing the be­gin­ning of the garden

cal­en­dar. Once the worst weather passes, Mau­reen clears the seed heads on the herbaceous plants which are start­ing to come to life. Ten­der plants which have been shel­tered in the green­house are taken out­side. Evergreen plants and shrubs en­sure there is al­ways something of in­ter­est even in win­ter.

Look­ing across the garden from the kitchen win­dow I was struck how Wor­den Park has been in­cor­po­rated as a back­drop to this garden. Mau­reen shows me the pond, cov­ered in net­ting to pre­vent herons tak­ing the fish, and there are wa­ter lilies here to add to the in­ter­est. ‘I feel wa­ter is a vi­tal ad­di­tion to any garden, large or small,’ she says.

We then come to a nar­row flagged path which me­an­ders through bor­ders filled with plants. A sor­bus, or moun­tain ash, is weighed down with white berries which feed the birds. Mau­reen grew this, as well as an acer, from a seed. A ‘Paul’s Scar­let’ hawthorn adds splen­did colour and more fruit for the birds.

Her plant­ing, massed to­gether so weeds don’t stand a chance, is an eclec­tic mix of colour with a pur­ple phlox stand­ing ad­ja­cent to a red cro­cos­mia with an eryn­gium be­tween. As we pass, the scent from the phlox fills the air. A mix of daisy-like flow­ers from he­lianthus, leu­can­the­mum and echi­nacea shows how plants with a sim­i­lar form can come from a wide range of species.

This area is backed by trees from the park and a hedge which adds pri­vacy.

As the path me­an­ders round, the edg­ing plants tum­ble to break it up. As Mau­reen says, gar­dens are re­lax­ing tran­quil places and bor­ders need to be soft­ened. A var­ie­gated fat­sia rises up and blends well with a var­ie­gated holly. It is ob­vi­ous Mau­reen is a keen plantswoma­n and can lose her­self in this colour­ful place which has a huge col­lec­tion of herbaceous peren­ni­als and lilies to give off scent, es­pe­cially a tall tree lilly. She cer­tainly has green

‘It is a haven for Mau­reen to work in, a place to lose your­self while pro­duc­ing a vast col­lec­tion of plants’

fin­gers as ev­ery plant is healthy and all around we hear bird song and the buzzing of the bees.

The two green­houses are shielded from view with a per­gola style ter­race and clema­tis trained over. In­side, it is a haven for Mau­reen to work in, a place to lose your­self while pro­duc­ing a vast col­lec­tion of plants ei­ther for sale on open days or give to friends. Mau­reen doesn’t clean out the green­house as the bal­ance of na­ture is a won­der­ful thing and left to her own de­vices will en­sure any plants, cut­tings or seedlings grown here will be strong and healthy.

‘I was once told this by a wise gentle­man and never looked back,’ Mau­reen said. ‘But I do draw the line at leav­ing moss on the out­side as plants need light.’ Do you have a stun­ning garden that de­serves to be fea­tured in Lan­cashire Life? Drop us a line with a pic­ture or two to let­[email protected] lan­cashire­

An un­usual coloured rose among the plants RIGHT: A path weav­ing its way through plant­ing

Mau­reen amid her stun­ning plants


ABOVE: A bee en­joy­ing an echi­nacea flower BE­LOW: A pro­fu­sion of mixed herbaceous plants and shrubs

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