Ponteland garden to open in publican’s memory

A family's garden in Ponteland is to be opened to the public to raise cash for a cancer charity which helped look after Peter Harding

Grandchildren of Ron and Louise Bowey who are opening their garden in Ponteland to raise money for Macmillan
Grandchildren of Ron and Louise Bowey who are opening their garden in Ponteland to raise money for Macmillan

The family of a well-known Northumberland publican who lost his battle with cancer have come up with an original way to raise cash for the charity which helped him.

Peter Harding, who ran a number of pubs and hotels in the county, died last year having suffered cancer of the liver.

Now, his sister and brother in law – Louise and Ron Bowey, aged 62 and 64 respectively – are opening the garden at their Ponteland farm home to raise money for the Macmillan Cancer Support nurses who helped him in his final days.

Mr Harding ran the Otterburn Tower Hotel, the Northumberland Arms at Felton and the County Hotel in Hexham.

He and his son then acquired the Crown Inn at Humshaugh and Mr Harding moved in there last February.

He died after one night there, aged 67, from liver cancer.

Mr Bowey said: “In February of last year Louise lost her brother to cancer in a short space of time and we were all very impressed and grateful for the help which was provided by Macmillan Cancer Support nurses in his final days and we really wanted to do something to support this wonderful charity.

“Cancer is one of those dreadful illnesses which affects so many of us directly and all of us indirectly through friends and family who have suffered.

“My passion is for gardening and we opened our previous garden for charity on a select basis on a number of occasions. Having indulged my passion in creating a new garden over the last three years, we felt it was time to share it more widely to raise money for Macmillan.

“We did not do anything last year because the garden was not really ready.”

The retired couple live at Coldcotes Moor Farm.

The garden, landscaped grounds and woods there cover around 25 acres in total.

The key features are the wooded approach drive, which opens out to lawned areas surrounded by new ornamental and woodland shrubs and trees.

At the front of the house is a courtyard garden leading on to the walled garden, which includes a pergola terrace, an ornamental garden with a pond and a children’s play garden.

This in turn leads on to the orchard, which is being redeveloped to include a rill with a rose arbour, fruit and vegetable garden, and ornamental garden.

Outside of this is a south-facing garden overlooking a lake with woodland walks leading on to field walks to the south.

To the west a mature woodland is ablaze with bluebells in the early summer.

The Boweys lived at Darras Hall for nearly 20 years, opening their garden there on at least three occasions for charities including Barnados.

They moved to Coldcotes three years ago.

The garden is open on Sunday, August 4 from 1pm to 5pm.

Entry is £4 for adults and free for children.


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