The gardens at Guanock House cover five acres of spectacular garden spaces or garden-rooms, each with its own character. Designed by the world renowned garden designer, Arne Maynard.
For our clients the gardens provide tranquility and beauty and a place where they can reconnect with nature and her restorative power. Our workshops are very much nature based. We work with the natural elements to deepen meditation practice and to enhance the healing process. All of our workshops involve being in the garden for at least part of the time. Teaching sessions are interspersed with time where you can take yourself away and discover a power spot – a place in the garden where you experience power – the power of nature and your own personal power, where you feel especially good. In your power spot you can meditate or contemplate and experience deep peace and a new, restored, connection with nature.
The Wilderness Garden
The Elizabethan Winter Knot Garden
South facing, you get a glimpse of the open fens over the tall hedge from within an enclosed space laid out in an ornate pattern of low level copper beech hedging. In the Centre of the knot pattern made by the copper beech is a single Holly Tree. In the summer it feels cool and shaded by the square of topiarised hornbeam trees that form the perimeter of the garden-room. In the winter the deep reddish hews of the copper beech gives a richness and a sense of inner warmth. It is a favourite place for seclusion and quiet contemplation, maybe with a cup of a wintry herbal tea.
Each season changes the character of the orchard, which is filled with cherry, plum, apple and pear trees as well as some unusual fruits such as quince. In the autumn – mellow fruitfulness gives a sense of nature’s abundance – in the spring a delight of white and pink blossom, in the cold of winter a sea of snow drops – in the early summer waves of cow parsley sway delicately in the breeze beneath the fruit trees. It is a favourite place for walking meditation or for sitting under a tree with a book. If you are quiet and still you will see rabbits, green woodpeckers, pheasants – you may even see a fox!
The Rose Garden
On route from the main house to the Italian Garden you pass through the serpentine shaped Rose Garden where in early June dozens of old-variety roses are in bloom. The scent of rose as you pass through connects you with “ananda” – the underlying bliss of existence. The Rose Garden is separated from the Italian Garden by Two Pavilions – one for winter and one for summer. In Any season you can sit in the pavilions and look out over the Rose Garden through the west windows, the Italian Garden through the East Windows and the Orchard through the South Windows. The pavilions are used for private one-on-one teaching or healing sessions too.
The Italian Garden
Featuring the formality of Yew and Box hedging in a pattern inter-linking squares with tall evergreen Holm Oaks shaped like lollipops in the centre of each square. It is a favourite for walking meditation, taking in the changing lines of sight that catch the eye through to the Rose Garden or the Lime Walk. The changing shades of green and the contrast from light to shade as you walk around the garden gives a sense of ever changing impermanence.
The Lime Walk
For those who have past life memories of being in a cloistered monastery the lime walk will be immediately familiar. Set in large square with a croquet lawn in the centre you can promenade around in summer under the cool lime-green shade of the tall trees or in winter the stark lattice work of intertwined branches from the pleached lime trees gives a sense of structure and purpose.
The Kitchen Garden
An enclosed miniature walled garden, there is a sense of safety, a sense of being in a secret garden, which is a metaphor for the inner-world. Within the walled garden, which in summer you will see neat rows of onions, carrots and beetroot is the Owl Barn and Garden Room both of which are used for teaching. The Owl Barn is enclosed on three sides but open to the kitchen garden on one side. So it is not exposed to the elements but yet gives a feeling of being out doors. The Garden Room is used mainly in winter with a roaring log fire and candle light it feel cozy, safe and warm and is perfect place to enter deep meditation. Most of our workshops involve doing gardening work, for example planting out seedling vegetables as part of the yoga practice. Gaining an experience of cosmic consciousness, which is the experience of awareness of the transcendental field whilst being in daily activity.
The Pillar Garden
Eight Yew Trees in the shape of pillars sit under the long arms of a walnut tree within four flower borders. In the summer months the healing scent of walnut pervades the air. This is a favourite spot for meditators to practice the skills of maintaining mindful awareness. Staying fully present in the Eternal Now as they work on the borders weeding and planting and tending the ever changing display of colour in the borders. It is a favourite power spot for those who wish to a-tune themselves to the healing power of the great walnut tree.
The Ash Tree Lawn
Tucked away in the eastern corner of the gardens is a simple lawn garden under a spreading ash tree. You can sit on the lawn under the ash tree and take in its essence. The strength of this garden is its very simplicity.
The Lawn Par Terre
On a slope leading from the Pillar Garden to the main House is the Lawn Par Terre. Laid out in six rectangular block with a grass path connecting the rectangles this garden has two distinct characters. In the winter short cropped grass highlights the pattern on the ground formed by the rectangular layout. On a winter’s morning often a crisp frost covers the grass making a pretty pattern glinting in the early sun light. In the summer the grass is allowed to grow tall and wild flowers spring up everywhere creating a sense of a wild flower meadow. As you stroll along the paths you can run your fingers through the tall grass on on each side as you pass.
The Yew Tree Garden
Adjacent to the East Terrace of the main house, the Yew Tree Garden features a topiarised Ancient Yew Tree, which is three hundred years old. Deep borders on either side of the fine lawns are the main border gardens of the house. This is a spot for sitting in a deck chair with a glass of fresh lemonade or for fun you can practice “Zen and the art of archery” on the lawns. This area is also one of the main teaching areas being so close to the main house. If the weather is fine the East Terrace, which faces the garden, is the site for an out door barbecue.
The pond is located at the north western corner of the gardens. Surrounded by willow trees it is a haven for wild life. Each year ducks and moor-hens return to nest. From this part of the garden you are also in the Fen Landscape itself. There is a sense of space and a wide expanse of sky.