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Our September garden blog is out and Kevin Line tells us everything he has been doing in our garden.

Things are really buzzing in this garden, there’s an air of compelling excitement as we as gardeners get our hands into the soil within this hidden gem of a garden that’s just oozing with history around this 16th century Country House. As I write this each month, we’ll connect with historic horticulture, plants, wildlife, the healing power of gardens, and many more aspects, that just make Swarthmoor Hall and the garden, a very special and exclusive place to be! A place of peace and tranquility, the cradle of Quakerism!

It’s so refreshing and exhilarating to walk the edges of a damp meadow on a later summer day, studying the different species  of  grasses and spotting the wildlife that abounds within and around the meadow. We’ll be talking more about the meadow this autumn.


Back into the garden. I’ve been pruning back the summer seasons foliage of Geranium psilostemon (Armenian Cranesbill) in the garden borders leading up to the Hall. These prominent purple, magenta – crimson flowers with their dark centres, accentuated with  striking veins add a richness of colour within the perennial planting combinations in the front garden at Swarthmoor.

Geranium psilostemon is a stunning border perennial, the leaves which will rejuvenate from this late summer prune are large and deeply cut in leaf formation that turn to a stunning red in autumn!

Meanwhile, we’ve been planting up a low dry stone wall area on the east side lawn garden with various rockery plants including Sedum species. Sedums are great for attracting butterflies during the summer months. One of our main objectives here above all is to ensure we are gardening to encourage a diversity of wildlife. Whilst in the garden on August Bank Holiday Monday, I was uplifted to spot a Speckled Wood butterfly within the Quiet Garden.

Another area of development has been the two beds each side of the main garden gate at the front of the Hall. A few months ago these areas were looking forlorn and tired, empty spaces with no direction! We’ll be looking further at this development.

The main planting theme here are Hydrangea paniculta cultivars, Hydrangeas were introduced into the UK in the early 18th Century. The two borders are flanked and planted with Syringa, (Lilac) one pink, the other white. Lilacs were first grown in this country in the late 16th century which is the same time of the building of Swarthmoor Hall !

Kevin Line