Diarmuid Gavin to design walled garden at National Trust's Gibside estate

Garden designer Diarmuid Gavin has been recruited to create a contemporary garden for National Trust's Gibside estate.

Diarmuid Gavin with Gibside general manager Mick Wiles. Image: North News and Pictures
Diarmuid Gavin with Gibside general manager Mick Wiles. Image: North News and Pictures

The 18th century landscape garden in Tyne and Wear is being restored with the help of £1.6m of HLF funding.

Gavin will primarily concentrate on the Walled Garden, which won a £61,500 grant last year. He has been tasked with providing a design which will bring a new focus to the historic landscape, using his famously innovative style.

The Gateshead property was the creation of coal baron George Bowes but fell into disrepair after his death. Its landscape is a haven for wildlife and often attracts red kites.

Work began on the 1.4 hectare Walled Garden in 1734, using bricks made at Gibside which cost 6/6 per 1,000. It was designed to replace an earlier kitchen garden situated much nearer to Gibside Hall and grew fruit, vegetables and cut flowers for the estate.

George Bowes’ original vision for the estate was cutting edge for its time and the National Trust is hoping that Gavin’s maverick style will continue that tradition.

"Working alongside the National Trust, I hope to build and plant a garden which embodies the engaging nature of the people of the area and create a space which is relevant to how we view and use public gardens today."

Eventually the National Trust plans to deliver "an educational and engaging programme" which includes tours, ‘meet the expert’ sessions and art installations in the garden.

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