Susan has been developing her one and a half acre garden for nine years. Varley Farm has wonderful views across the Forest of Bowland and Pendle, including a Herbaceous lawned cottage garden, flagged herb garden, and walled gravel garden.

There are steps down to an orchard and organic kitchen garden. There is also a grassed walk through a meadow, pond area and stream.

Describe your garden?

We’ve come a long way – in 2004 the garden didn’t exist. The herbaceous garden with lawns was the farmyard and road.

These areas are the nearest to the house and surrounding them are the original Hawthorn hedges and dry stone walls which my husband wanted reinstated.

We have stepped the garden down in a couple of areas to allow for two flattish lawns.

Outside the wall and hedges we have relaxed the planting with a more natural feel, including wildflower, wild meadow herb, vegetable and orchard.

What are your plans for the garden?

Just to simply enjoy the garden. We have tried to future proof the garden for when we aren’t as able just by simple things like putting flags in gateways or under pots, so we can just mow round rather than strimming and having to move the pots manually.

How did you get into gardening?

I’d help my mother and father garden and we used to grow potatoes, tomatoes and radish. My husband was going to get a garden designer when we moved in, but I told him this was my project and have kept adding new areas. I think I need to stop now as it just seems to be getting bigger.

What is your favourite feature and why?

I have two favourite features on the same theme.

We have a small stream that runs through the garden and when we first moved in the sheep used to graze the meadow and the grass was so short.

Over the years we have left this area and we now have lots of primroses, but this year I have found my first Orchid. Also, I have planted a wildflower meadow and this is changing every day and looks stunning.

How much time is spent in the garden?

I spend any spare time in the garden that I can get away with.

I am lucky I can work from home. I would say I need about two days a week in summer just to keep on top of things. We have a farm with about 100 acres, so I also spend time maintaining fields and woods for environmental stewardship schemes.

Have you suffered any gardening catastrophes?

We lost a lot of plants over the last couple of winters – bays, rosemary, lavender. I tend to buy plants locally so I know what thrives in this area because we are 700 feet above sea level and the climate can be very damp.

Why do you enjoy gardening?

I think gardening is a good way to relax and also enjoy the wildlife it brings to the garden.

We open to the public for the National Garden Scheme – and the church. We get great pleasure from showing people around, they have a great day out and the charities gain from the kind donations.

Your top gardening tip Don’t make your garden hard work and try plants that don’t suit the local conditions.

I love Lavender, but it does not like damp, wet winters.

Try to grow nepeta (catmint) – it just looks good and the flowers last longer.

Trade in bay trees for privet and they look just as good.

I also think bulbs are so under-rated as plants as they can die back ready for other plants to fill their space.

Also, join a gardening club.

I am a member of Bolton-by-Bowland Gardening Club. We always welcome new members and it is a good way to meet people with similar interests.

My e-mail is if anybody would like further info about the club.