When the seeds were sown to make Holden Clough a destination plant nursery, they quickly took root and the nursery has now grown into one of the most attractive and interesting places to visit in the region. Photography: Sarah Valentine

Time never stands still at Holden Clough where owners John and Kate Foley have taken the next step in evolving the nursery, which has recently added the stunning Glasshouse featuring exotic plants, architectural antiques, beautiful pots, storm lanterns, vases and gardening accessories both old and new.

The Glasshouse, with its impressive stone fascia and glass roof, also features a great mix of European sourced reclaimed painted furniture, antique style chandeliers, glassware and vintage style dovecotes.

“We really want to inspire people,” enthuses John. “The Glasshouse shows visitors how they can incorporate unusual items into their gardens, orangery or conservatory to make them more interesting.”

Featuring a real fire that will be used during the colder months, there is also a huge vintage work bench at one end of the Glasshouse which, when not in use, serves as a perfect backdrop for a huge display of giant orchids.

The bench, including vintage sink, will be used for gardening and cookery demonstrations as John explains: “The Glasshouse is part of a 12-month plan for the nursery. We want to develop our vision to combine gardening with food so one month we may have a gardening demonstration and the next we may be demonstrating how to make a plant-based summer salad.”

With an archway leading into the Garden Kitchen courtyard, the Glasshouse has been well planned on every level. It is a peaceful place in which to contemplate – yet its collections and displays are inspirational and vibrant – they are there to enhance our homes, our gardens and our lifestyles.

Since establishing the Garden Kitchen at Holden Clough, food has played a major part in the development of the nursery, and John and Kate are building on this alongside new head chef Jake Chapman from Skipton.

While still retaining the popular ‘garden picnic’ afternoon teas, the Garden Kitchen is developing a new menu inspired by the famous chef Yotam Ottolenghi, emphasising the synergy between the plant nursery and the food produced in the kitchen. Together they combine to create delicious healthy salads, plant-based dishes and patisserie that are suitable for all diet preferences.

“The new menu will feature lots of salads, vegetables and herbs from our new herb garden,” says John. “Visitors will be able to choose from a great selection and then add protein such as salmon or home-made quiche.”

Plans are also in the pipeline to extend the Garden Kitchen further with a Garden Room which will double as a workshop for schools and group visits.

The development plan for Holden Clough has also seen the nursery acquire a further two-acre field along the back of the nursery, where there will be additional parking, further growing beds for the nursery and a new orchard will be planted overlooking a wildflower meadow.

A new two-storey building, the Potting Shed and nursery shop, is currently under construction – this will feature a ground floor shop and above it a first floor glass atrium, which will be a gallery and library where visitors can read gardening books, surrounded by stunning views of the meadows to one aspect and Pendle to the other.

While the new Glasshouse, Potting Shed and Orchard are fabulous additions to Holden Clough, the plants, as always, take centre stage – they are attractively laid out amidst pretty shingle pathways and are grouped by association and colour. Visitors looking for specific plants that enjoy shade, or those that thrive in wetter conditions, will be able to instantly find what they are looking for.

There are also unusual varieties that can’t be found anywhere else and as most of the plants are grown on site, visitors can be assured that they are hardy enough to withstand our cold and wet northern winters.

While the final phase of the Holden Clough development is now underway, the nursery is operating as normal with the Garden Kitchen and Glasshouse thriving and enjoying a record number of visitors over the summer.

“These are exciting times for us at Holden Clough,” adds John. “We are making the nursery a place where visitors can see and realise their garden’s true potential.”

“They can also learn about plants and food – and have a healthy bite to eat while they are here. We want visitors to be truly inspired when they experience what we have here at Holden Clough.”

Holden Clough Nurseries & Garden Kitchen
Holden, Bolton-by-Bowland BB7 4PF
Nursery: 01200 447615
Garden Kitchen: 01200 447447
Open seven days: 9am-5pm



Tedd Walmsley

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