International horticulturalist Andrea Brunsendorf is to join Lowther Castle & Gardens as head gardener in July. Having trained at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and University College, London and worked at gardens in South Africa, Germany, France, Botswana, Jerusalem, the UK and the United States, she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with her.
Andrea's first major gardening position was at the Inner Temple Garden in London – a three-acre site belonging to the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple. During her 11-year stint she re-designed the 246ft long herbaceous border which was packed with ever-changing seasonal highlights, introduced mixed borders of peonies and roses and did much to enhance the garden’s biodiversity – all ably assisted by her cocker spaniel, Boris. Andrea's most recent roles have been at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania and in the Austrian Alps, for a private foundation.
In 2007 Dan Pearson's design studio was asked to create a landscape and gardens masterplan for the cultural redevelopment of the castle and gardens, and in 2011 they began to implement it.
Taking inspiration from the Gardens of Ninfa near Rome and the romance of Gothic ruins reclaimed by nature, climbing roses and clematis were woven through the ruins, and textured ground cover plants were added in the shade of the walls. There is also a parterre of ornamental grasses and perennials, a rose garden, a ruined moss-covered rockery, Japanese and scented gardens.
Andrea says: ‘Over the past ten years or so, Lowther has been unfolding and interpreting its gardens gently and thoughtfully. I look forward to working with the team – including Dan Pearson – to continue this development, to bring even more of it to life and of course, as a horticulturalist and plantswoman, I look forward to the unique challenges this wonderful landscape will present.’
Jim Lowther, owner of Lowther Castle & Gardens, said: ‘The gardens at Lowther Castle are a bold and long-term project. To have someone of Andrea’s experience and depth of knowledge join us is truly exciting. I cannot wait to see how she brings her ideas and skills to bear.’
Veronica Peerless is a trained horticulturalist and garden designer.
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