Was walking along past the church in Grasmere when I spotted new stones being laid in the Daffodil Garden. This only happens a few times a year.
Grasmere Daffodil Garden opened in 2003. A piece of waste land near the church was chosen to try and emulate Wordsworth’s famous poem.
“I wandered lonely as a cloud, that floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd, a host of golden daffodils.
The plan is to have 10,000 wild daffodils blowing in the breeze.
The idea of the garden is to raise funds to promote the heritage of the Vale of Grasmere and it’s traditional ways of Lake District life. This is achieved by selling Daffodil bulbs, which mean you can put down “some roots in Grasmere” yourself.
You can also buy a stone which is engraved with your name and home town. This is laid in the form of a path through the garden. Once the path is finished, sponsorship closes. The stones are made of Lakeland slate, and tend to be bought by people who have a fondness for Grasmere. It isn’t a memorial garden, more a celebration of Grasmere. Donors names are entered in the Book of friends displayed in St Oswalds Church.
The charities sponsored by the garden are, The Friends of St. Oswald’s. St Oswald’s church has over 100,000 visitors per year which obviously takes it’s toll on the building. The money helps to pay for it’s renovation and maintenance.
Another charity to benefit is The Lakeland Housing Trust. Because so many houses are snapped up as holiday homes, it becomes more and more difficult to find affordable housing for locals. The Trust buys and lets homes to young families at a subsidised rent.
The Wordsworth Trust is another beneficiary, helping to preserve the literary heritage of the poet’s bond with Grasmere. His grave overlooks the garden.
And finally, The National Trust gets donations to help farmers to maintain country features which would be difficult otherwise because of low hill farm incomes.
So the next time you are in Grasmere enjoy the peace of the daffodil garden knowing that it is helping preserve the beautiful Vale of Grasmere.
Grasmere Church, dedicated to St. Oswald the Northumbrian King, stands on the bank of the River Rothay.
The oldest part of the present church is thought to have dated from the twelfth or thirteenth century. Wordsworth who used to live in the Rectory at Grasmere at one time describes the church in his poem “The Excursion”:
“Not raised in nice proportions, was the Pile,
But large and massy, for duration built,
With pillars crowded and the roof upheld,
By naked rafters intricately crossed”
To commemorate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953 a flowering cherry tree was planted in the churchyard by the two oldest Grasmere born residents, Robert Peel of Lancrigg Lodge and his brother Penny Peel of Field Side. It is a beautiful sight and of course we have many Japanese visitors who enjoy the Sakura blossom.
Just beside Grasmere Church is Grasmere Daffodil Garden which can be seen from the graveyard.
And from the garden you can see the bridge over the River Rothay with the tea gardens to the side. A nice place to sit and admire the cherry tree and the local ducks.