High Moss featured in Country Life magazine

Lush green gardens of arts and crafts house High Moss, with pink and red plants and green leafy trees and a red bench nestled amongst bushes in the foreground.

High Moss, nestled in Portinscale, Cumbria, is home to Gardens Trust Chair Peter Hughes and his wife Christine. Since 2009 they have restored its beautiful Arts-and-Crafts garden, revealing its history and igniting their passion for garden history in the process. Their beautiful garden and inspiring restoration project are featured in a recent article by Country Life.

High Moss boasts breathtaking views of Grisedale Pike and Catbells from its terraced grounds and has a rich history dating back to its construction in 1901–02 by architect William Henry Ward. The garden’s design, while fanciful in Ward’s renderings, has been faithfully revitalized by the Hughes, with recent additions like a slate cascade, honoring the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

View of the top of Catbells from High Moss, with its peak visible on top of trees
View of Catbells from High Moss. Photo by Peter Hughes.

The restoration of High Moss became a passion project for the Hughes, intertwining with Peter’s pursuit of a Master’s in Garden History and becoming Chair of the Gardens Trust. Guided by experienced gardener Tom Attwood, they embarked on transforming the neglected 4½-acre garden upon moving in 2009, including the clearing of Rhododendrons and gorse and tackling the challenge of replanting on the steep terrain.

Slate diamond water sculpture in partial shadow, surrounded by green leafy plants
Slate water feature. Photo by Peter Hughes.
Close up of a blue Himalayan Poppy, with powder blue petals and yellow sepals.
Blue Himalayan Poppy, Meconopsis Lingholm. Photo by Peter Hughes.

The garden’s upper slopes feature organically shaped beds hosting small azaleas and rhododendrons, while lower terraces showcase species rhododendrons and flowering trees. Woodland paths lead past enchanting features like the Carolina silverbell and ancient rhododendron tunnels. Original architectural elements, like the restored conservatory and loggia, maintain the connection between interior and exterior spaces and their dedication to restoring the Arts-and-Crafts spirit is evident in the garden gates and the diamond-patterned layout of the kitchen garden.

Read more about the garden, its restoration and history in the Country Life article by Non Morris here: “The gardens of High Moss, a Cumbrian paradise just moments from Derwentwater”.

High Moss will be open to the public on May 19, 2024, from 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm in support of the Red Cross.

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Painswick Roccoco Gardens, the Red House, Photo © Joab Smith