Lombard Street, Sri Lanka

Lombard Street in San Franciso is commonly known as the “Crookedest Street in the World”. My wife and I were fortunate enough to stay several days in San Franciso after a friends wedding there. We hired a car for our trip down Route No 1 and part of the experience was for me to navigate my way down one of San Francisco’s most popular landmarks. This memory has inspired us to create our own interpretation of this and create GlenMyu’s Lombard Street in Sri Lanka.

What is Lombard Street in San Francisco?

You can see what Lombard Street, San Francisco looks like in these videos.

Why is GlenMyu Estate making its’ own version of Lombard Street in Sri Lanka?

As we live in the Sri Lankan Hill Country it is important that we secure the land by managing the erosion from the slopes at the Estate. We have planted hedgerows to protect the slopes using SALT technology. There also has been lots of rocks walls built around the 5 acre estate which also helps to reduce erosion and protect the topsoil. We have planted lots of trees around the land to provide a good footing in ground and also give some canopy cover.

The site for GlenMyu’s Lombard Street is on a slope and we thought we would do something fun and beautiful on this part of the property. 

What is the aim of GlenMyu Estate?

The aim at GlenMyu Estate is to blend a guest experience whilst developing a food forest to provide a vibrant environment for the animals and birds that visit and forage safely.

We have planted lots of fruit trees around the periphery of the land which we know will mainly feed the animals. Some of the planting at the property is to make the vista beautiful and colourful.

Our version of Lombard Street will have a mix of these functions.

GlenMyu’s Lombard Street is located on the slope which can be viewed whilst you are enjoying the Natural Spring Fed Infinity Swimming Pool. We think that it is important to provide beautiful surroundings whilst in the swimming pool.

When did you start developing GlenMyu’s Lombard Street?

We commenced clearing a planting Lombard Street in April- May 2022. As you will see, in May 2023 the creation of our Lombard Street is still a work in progress.

Although Sri Lanka does not have seasons similar to that in Europe and the Americas we do have rainy and dry seasons. There are two major monsoons in Sri Lanka: The South West Monsoon and the North East Monsoon.
As GlenMyu Estate is in the middle of the island we do not suffer the extremes of the monsoons and are in an Inter-monsoon region. In order to give the plants the best chances to establish themselves we have to work around the rainy periods of the year.
We also consider it really important to retain as much of the topsoil as much as possible so we do not clear large areas all at once. If there were to be an unusual downpour of rain then we would lose too much of the topsoil that would be washed away down the slope.

What we have down is marked the pathway which you will be able to walk up Lombard Street to reach “Whale Rock”.
We have cut back the vegetation, particularly the Guinea Grass, so that it doesn’t flower and seed again creating a jungle.
Initially we planted some hedgerows using Gliricidia sticks. These sticks have grown, stalled the erosion of the slope and provides nitrogen fixing to the soil from their leaves.
We also planted some Mulberries which at this stage are starting to provide us with some fruit.
Some Mana Grass has been planted which has replaced the Guinea Grass which we have been trying to eradicate from the estate.

The taller trees you can see are mainly Erythrina variegata which are normally planted in between tea bushes. These trees provided us with some shade which helps the lower canopy plants to establish without being burnt during the hotter periods of the year.

We will take out the Eritinia trees once the lower canopy has been established.

What’s the problem with Guinea Grass?

Guinea Grass is not endemic to Sri Lanka and was brought to the island to provide fast growing fodder for cattle. We have lots of neighbours who have cows and Guinea Grass is a large part of their diet. One cow can eat 50kg of Guinea Grass a day, according to their owners.
At GlenMyu Estate our aim is to reintroduce a lot of endemic plants to land which in turn should encourage more wildlife to visit and increase the biodiversity on the estate.
As Guinea Grass is fast growing it does not allow other plants to grow as it takes their light and the nutrients in the soil.
So, we don’t have anything in particular against Guinea Grass however, it is not part of our plan for GlenMyu Estate.

Lombard Street is starting to be established.

You can see from these pictures that the pathway at the start of the slope has been started and there is a zigzag pattern being established on the hillside.
We have also planted some Rose Apple Trees, Lemon Trees……which will provide some colour when they start to fruit.
Coleas and some other flowers have been planted in the beds around the trees which has added some variety of colours. It also provides some plants for the insects to drink from and the bees and butterflies to collect the pollen.

The pathways have been planted with Malaysian Grass which we have used widely around the estate.

It’s amazing how quickly the vegetation grows and we will have a constant fight against the weeds until the trees grow and provide some shade.

Lombard Street at May 2023

The rains started in April, normally falling in the afternoons and this is the time of the year where we will be doing some more work on Lombard Street.
We have cut down some of the longer grass on the top of the slope however we have left them lying on the ground to protect the slope if there is rain.
The yellow border on the pathway will continue up the hills which will emphasise the zigzag pattern.
As we clear we will plant some fruit bearing trees and some colourful flowers in the borders. Ru has her colour plan but I’m sure that nature will let us know what works.

A walk around GlenMyu’s Lombard Street in May 2023.

When will GlenMyu’s Lombard Street be completed?

Well, that really depends on the weather, how busy we are with guests and having enough staff to help us clear and plant the slope.

We hope that you can envisage what our version of Lombard Street will look like when it is completed. The plan is also to have some places to sit so that you can enjoy the views from this side of the property. We find that as the sun circles around the land during the day there are some good spots which are in the shade during parts of the day. Maybe this will be the new Instagram spot and will compete with Nine Arch Bridge, World’s End and Lipton’s Seat!

Updating this BlogPost about GlenMyu's Lombard Street

As we make progress we will continue to update this BlogPost with pictures and also let you know what types of plants have been added.

Visit GlenMyu Estate and experience our version of Lombard Street

We love having guests at GlenMyu Estate and them enjoying the 5 acres of land. There are only 3 bedrooms so it’s a unique experience for you to enjoy.

What is Whale Rock?

I don’t know whether, like us, sometimes you look up into the sky and talk about what figures you can see from the cloud formations. Sometimes we see the shapes of crocodiles, dogs, peoples faces and so on.

When I look at Whale Rock I see the head of a Blue Whale with its’ mouth open. 

Can you see what I see?

More about GlenMyu Estate

3 Kingsize Double Bedrooms with Spectacular Views
2 Spacious Lounges with views over the hills below the house
A Natural Spring-Fed Infinity Swimming Pool
5 Acres of land to explore

Delicious bespoke meals freshly prepared by the host
A selection of places to dine

A place to relax and be closer to nature

Within reach of the following tourist sites

Diyaluma Waterfall and Upper Diyaluma Pools
Horton Plains National Park – Mini Worlds End, Worlds End and Bakers Falls
Adisham Bungalow
Lipton Seat
Dambetenna Tea Factory
Bambarakanda Waterfall
Thangamale Bird Sanctuary
Ella Town: 9 Arch Bridge, Little Adams Peak & Ravanna Waterfall

GlenMyu Estate is listed on Booking.com and Airbnb

GlenMyu Estate
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