This is a Garden ups for grown
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] lancashirelife.co.uk.
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