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Cherryburn Garden Project – a place for nature and people to thrive

Transparent flower seeds with grey sky in the background
Honesty flower seeds | © Canva

Our renovated garden is blooming, ready for the year ahead and what we hope will be our most floral year to date.

A Garden For All

The garden space at Cherryburn is an accessible space with more seating, wheelchair-friendly and pushchair-friendly paths, ready to welcome you.

Our gardener has sown seeds for the year ahead, using seeds collected from Cherryburn's garden. Jacob's Ladder, Aquilega, Foxglove, Ox Eye Daisy, Honesty and Verbascum were all sown in early autumn. Large areas of garden are left to allow nettles and thistles to thrive which provides food and shelter for butterflies and moths.

Our gardener uses the 'no dig' method - using a cardboard layer to supress weeds with leaf mulch and compost on top . This feeds the soil without disturbing it and means that chemicals are not needed in those harder to control areas.

The garden is designed to support wildlife and to remain characteristic of the natural landscape as Thomas Bewick would have experienced it.

In fact, the key ‘rules’ for the garden are that all the plants must be recognisable to Bewick and/or that they will encourage wildlife to thrive.

The space now has a more natural look and a wilder feel, with easy to source plants to inspire you to create your own planting schemes at home.

The garden project celebrates the legacy of Thomas Bewick with features and designs inspired by him and his work, ready to delight many more generations of visitors.

Going Forward

By reimagining the garden at Cherryburn, our hope is that the space is now accessible to more visitors – including wildlife – and that the changes ensure it remains sustainable for the future.

Our aim is to let the garden progress naturally – next year’s garden will be different to this year’s as it continues to mature and is nurtured by the new gardener and volunteers – so it will be wonderful to see the garden change and flourish across time. Next steps include the planting of trees and plants for pollinators.

Work is in progress on the new allotment and the raised beds are at a variety of heights to enable comfortable and accessible garden whether standing or seated.

Bewick used a woodblock print of his own thumbprint as a mark of authenticity in many of his publications, together with the handwritten inscription ‘Thomas Bewick his Mark.’ We are fundraising to produce a large-scale reproduction of Bewick’s thumbprint and inscription, in mosaic form. Visitors could choose to walk on the mosaic barefoot, which, with accompanying planting, would create a sensory garden experience.

We are also fundraising for a bird hide, inspired by Bewick’s knowledge of birds, which he illustrated extensively in ‘British Birds.’ The hide brings Bewick’s work into the garden, extending the museum into the outdoor space and enabling visitors to ‘notice nature’ through Bewick’s eyes. The hide won’t be set up as a silent space to spot rare birds in the traditional sense, but a place to see common birds and draw, paint or photograph them.

Do share your photos of the garden from your visits, we’d love to see them and hear what you thought about this new space. Follow us or tag us on Facebook @CherryburnNT or Instagram #hadrianswalltynevalleynt

Thomas Bewick's farmhouse and garden at Cherryburn, Northumberland

Discover more at Cherryburn

Find out when Cherryburn is open, how to get here, the things to see and do and more.