The gardens at Londesborough Lodge are splendid and the south facing garden has a wonderful outlook onto the park which slopes down to the sea. There are the remnants of the classical layout when the Villa was built in the 1830’s.
When Kagyu Samye Dzong Scarborough took over the building in 2014 the place was almost derelict and the garden extremely neglected. Many volunteers and skilled tradespeople spent time restoring the building, and when they found time came outside to start work on the flower borders. Tessa Barton from York set up a monthly Garden Volunteer Group which still runs today. In June 2017 Indira Joshi saw the potential of the garden and hired me to work on its development. Indira wanted to create a beautiful garden with many scented plants, her favourite roses and bamboos, as well as native hedges and plants to encourage wildlife.
After drawing up an initial design for the south side of the garden, work began on clearing all of the overgrown privet and spotted laurel. Two large trees dominate this part of the garden giving a woodland feel. Here we have established grassy banks with snowdrops and woodland species, as well as shade tolerant shrubs. Down beyond the rustic stone wall are the bamboos and Magnolia Graniflora yet to flower. Lower down are the compost heaps (built from the old floorboards from the house) now yielding the first lot of home produced compost. Below this area where the bank slopes steeply we are retaining the scrub as a wildlife sanctuary.
The central section had wide paths dissecting the lawn leading to the grand steps opening to the shrine room. Lama Yeshe Rinpoche visited the centre in August 2018 and stressed the importance of the boundary for security reasons, for screening and from a Feng Shui point of view, to retain the energy from dissipating. Chestnut paling fencing was erected around the perimeter and mixed hawthorn hedging was established. We have purchased a number of ornate urns and containers, as well as stone birdbaths to enhance the appearance of this section of the garden. The one side of the stone balustrade to the steps has been carefully rebuilt by members of the volunteer garden group. Of particular interest this summer was the Giant Vipers Bugloss, Echium Pininana which were grown from seed from plants in the old town. When it eventually flowers in its third year the eight foot flower spikes are very attractive to bees . A stone relief of Tara is inset into the building here and in her protecting role she overlooks the garden.
Work is in progress on landscaping the front of the building with trellising and plants in tubs, to bring more greenery to this important area, but as yet nothing permanent can be put in place until the final renovation works for the lower ground floor are established.
Become a volunteer
Our project is reliant on the generosity of so many local people who believe in the project and what it will bring to our community. From administration to electricians, joiners to gardeners, if you are able to donate just a few hours a week in support of the project, we’d be delighted to have you join our ever growing family!
Donate and help create the gardens
All donations are greatly appreciated and will help towards the cost of completing work on the centre and gardens.