With homes and gardens appearing to constantly shrink in size as the years go by, we've grown to appreciate the moments in which we get to experience the outdoors and open spaces. Regardless of whether you own acres of land, or have only a small balcony from which to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine, everyone feels the urge to ‘get back to nature' every now and then. The Old Vicarage in Lancashire boasts stunning grounds that most can only dream of—a real opportunity to engage with, and embrace nature! Transformed by landscape architects Barnes Walker Ltd over a number of years, the beautiful landscaped gardens are truly breathtaking. Boasting a mix of formal and informal areas, luscious green lawns, perfectly pruned hedges, secret passageways and open courtyards, these grounds have everything you could possibly want. Let's take a tour…
On arrival, we're faced with a rather grand-looking exterior complete with steps up to a covered porch, encircled with Grecian-style pillars which indicate both historical and cultural significance. We know already that this building was originally a residence for a Vicar, and it's no surprise that the building's façade reflects the importance placed on this profession throughout history.
Charming, symmetrically arranged windows suggest this Vicarage dates back to the Georgian period, though it's also possible that the façade has seen renovation and restoration work like the extensive grounds, which we will take a wander through next…
Of utmost importance in all respectable English gardens is a place to sit, socialise, and indulge in some tea and cake! This paved terrace accommodates a stylish dining set and parasol, perfect for enjoying the sunshine with the option to cool down in the shade. Also visable is a backdrop of traditional red brick walls decorated with creeping vines and dainty pink flowers. Beneath the arched window, a border of English lavender add an extra flourish of colour, and no doubt also smell incredible!
In a more modern twist, Barnes Walker Ltd have incorporated a maze of hedgerows, with a contemporary sculpture at the centre—a silver sphere comprised of interlocking metal rings. The tall bordering hedges offer privacy to those walking in the gardens, and the solitary bench is the ideal place to sit and enjoy some quiet reflection.
Manicured lawns and pruned hedges give the grounds a neat and ordered appearance. Every inch of garden has been carefully designed and cared for, with no signs of weeds or neglected undergrowth. The pathway through the grounds is regularly raked to ensure the gravel remains even for both practical and aesthetic purposes.
Hidden away in the tall trees is a wonderful treehouse complete with moving bridge to keep the children entertained for hours on end. The gardens, with all the hidden corners, twists and turns, really spur on young imaginations. There is also a slide and a tree swing in the grounds.
The courtyard area is home to extra outbuildings, adaptable to a variety of uses depending on the needs of the occupants. Whether for extra storage or for living space, the outhouses are are a great addition to the grounds.
For more beautiful gardens, take a look at the following ideabook: