Blooming Belsay in the spotlight

Blooming Belsay event - head gardener Jo Harrigan. Picture by Jane Coltman
Blooming Belsay event - head gardener Jo Harrigan. Picture by Jane Coltman

Visitors to a recent weekend family event at Belsay Hall, Castle and Gardens were able to find out more about the fabulous flowers and plants at the site.

As well as asking its gardeners how they maintain these stunning grounds during the tours, those who came along were also told to look out for Perks – the Georgian Under Gardener – who shared his knowledge of Belsay in the past on both days.

Blooming Belsay event.
 Picture by Jane Coltman

Blooming Belsay event. Picture by Jane Coltman

The Grade I listed gardens are currently bursting with life and colour and this Blooming Belsay celebration of them also included fun activities for children such as a getting to do their own planting, a scavenger hunt and traditional garden games at the front of the hall.

People of all ages enjoyed chainsaw artist Steve Tarr creating wood carvings with machinery and hand tools alike and music from a local brass band.

Specific shows and sessions focused on Victorian plant collecting and how inventions during this period changed gardens throughout the world.

Georgia Cundick, a member of the site supervisory team at Belsay, said: “It was a great event and it was nice to give the gardens here a bit of focus.

Blooming Belsay event.
 Picture by Jane Coltman

Blooming Belsay event. Picture by Jane Coltman

“The whole gardening team was on hand to answer people’s questions about planting and they gave those who came along plenty of useful hints and tips.

“Many visitors told us that it was eye-opening to see how much work goes into maintaining the gardens and other parts of the site, which covers 24 acres in total. They also enjoyed the activities, performances and sessions.

“One of the aims of the event was to inspire future generations to get involved in gardening and the activities for children included sunflower planting.

“They were able to take it home and we’re encouraging them to keep us informed about its growth and send us pictures of how it is developing.”

Blooming Belsay event.
 Picture by Jane Coltman

Blooming Belsay event. Picture by Jane Coltman

Some of the hanging baskets and grown plants from the gardening team are still available to purchase at the site.

For more information about them and volunteering opportunities at Belsay, call 01661 881636.

Blooming Belsay event.
 Picture by Jane Coltman

Blooming Belsay event. Picture by Jane Coltman

Blooming Belsay event.
 Picture by Jane Coltman

Blooming Belsay event. Picture by Jane Coltman