A Yorkshire Tale

Newby Hall & Gardens, Ripon

A week exploring North Yorkshire and much to see was there! Newby Hall & Gardens, near Ripon, was near the top of the list of attractions and a real plant hunters delight with much that is rare and unusual. The National Collection of Cornus kousa, a whole garden of salvias and a very substantial double herbaceous border, formality and informality, sylvan glades filled with candelabra primrose, the most delightful sunken rose garden and so much more.


Scampston Walled Garden, a Piet Oudolf masterpiece

I’ve visited this garden before, in the autumn, when all was gold and brown and quite brilliant. Such structural planting, plants defined purely by shape and form… Seeing it green and verdant, with swathes of brilliant blue and purple, I am still captivated.

They provide a detailed planting plan of the Perennial Meadow, in the heart of the walled garden and a planting list for just shy of 1400 plants used in these imaginative gardens laid out in 1999 by master plantsman Piet Oudolf. Some work is needed to regain the sharpness of the plan, particularly the topiary and the herbaceous planting is already undergoing a process of rejuvenation which is obviously needed – but the whole scheme is still thrilling.


Parcevall Hall Gardens, a hidden gem

In the depths of the Yorkshire Dales, a jewel of a garden. Created out of bare hillside and set around a once derelict farmhouse, an Arts & Crafts style garden blends seamlessly with the wild surroundings, bringing superb views into a stunning garden setting. Sir William Milner created these gardens in the 1930s and proved to be an excellent horticulturalist, sponsoring the creation of the Northern Horticultural Society and helping create what are now the RHS Gardens at Harlow Carr. It is testament to his gardening credentials that so many species continue to thrive in these upland conditions (270m above sea level). Stepped terraces, woodland gardens, an alpine garden created on bared rock and a rose garden with probably the best outlook of any I have seen. Superlative.


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Helmsley Walled Garden

The rejuvenation of the walled garden adjacent to the Castle in this bustling market town. Community allotments, a vegetable plots serving the cafe too, gardening therapy courses, chickens, cottage garden planting, clover lawns, a white garden and glasshouses too.



Hackfall Woods, Grewelstone, near Masham

The 18th Century development of a precipitous woodland gorge, littered with Gothic follies. JMW Turner painted here and like an Old Master, it is faded, but there is still much to admire!


I took in Fountains Abbey and Studley Water Gardens and learned a little more about the South Sea Bubble (financial crises are nothing new). My photographs are a bit dull though!



Not the cottage I was staying in (it was called The Snug, which speaks volumes) but this house was next to the church on the Market Square in Masham (pronounced ‘massam’) and was very knowingly photogenic!


For Newby Hall, Scampston and Parcevall Hall Gardens, I have uploaded many more photographs onto my Facebook page and they are available now, for example


And the last word from this Black Sheep (renowned local brewer of fine ales)



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