- Forest of Bowland
North West in Bloom Award Winners 2009 - Joint Winners for The Best Large Hotel, click here for further details.
Gibbon Bridge has 23 acres of award winning gardens which are overlooked by our restaurant and some of our bedrooms. We are also lucky enough to have a kitchen garden that supplies our chefs with some of the freshest fruit, herbs and vegetables available.
The gardens are one of hotel’s finest assets and have provided our guests with a great deal of enjoyment over the years. To verify this, the hotel has also received the accolades of judges in the North West in Bloom Awards for nine consecutive years (1996 – 2004) and more recently in 2009.
However, the 23 acres of grounds have not always been as beautiful as you see them today. The farmland was in very poor condition; boggy and full of reed beds with the main garden home of an old dyke and the family’s duck & geese pen. It has taken a great deal of hard work, commitment and continual investment to transform it as you see it today.
The original gardens were designed by Janet’s late Mother Maggie, her Uncle John and a local landscape gardener - David Singleton. The land had to be mole ploughed and drained, then beautiful lawns were created, along with a large rockery and a central pond. The borders were filled with perennial shrubs and young saplings such as chestnuts, acers, hornbeams and birch. However, within the development the three alder trees, which you can see at the bottom of the garden were left to mature and now stand at over 30ft high.
Robert Lowe, Head Gardener has worked on the gardens from the early days and has seen a great deal of investment and expansion over the years. New planting and projects are carefully thought out each year to attract a variety of wildlife, birds, insects etc. The creation of four ponds are bound with newts, toads, frogs, and a variety of fish – carp, tench, chub etc. nesting birds include coots, water hens and recently a pair Greater Spotted Woodpeckers.
Today Grace and Ann, our resident florists still incorporate some of Maggie's favourite flowers into their displays. Particularly sweet peas, which are grown in abundance during the summer.