The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies. Gertrude Jekyll

Annie's Little Plot

Annie's Little Plot

Thursday, 14 July 2011

York Gate Gardens

I discovered York Gate Gardens on the outskirts of Leeds last year and it is now one of my favourite gardens. I remember a small garden at the Chelsea Flower show one year which was inspired by the gardens and loving that garden too.

It is only a relatively small garden, around one acre, which was created by the Spencer family between 1951 and 1994. It was Frederick Spencer who laid down the main structure and design of the garden, and his wife Sybil who did most of the planting, but after Frederick's death in1963 his son Robin carried on developing the garden. Robin died at the young age of 47, whereafter Sybil added to the considerable plant collection. Sybil died in 1994 and the garden was given to Perennial which now maintains the garden.

It is basically a series of garden rooms but it is all linked together so beautifully and everywhere you look there is a lovely view.
You start off coming in the driveway of the garden, where there is a small tea room and shop. There is a pavement maze in the driveway. You enter a lawned area with a pond.

There lots of garden structures throughout the garden.
And lots of seated areas, including this one backed by a beautiful copper beech hedge.
You go through the pergola into the pinetum, a garden full of conifers, not my favourite bit but introduces a new range of plants.
Another seated area created using three weeping conifers which are joined together to create a covered area.
Another folly.

You then walk into an are with a stream with bog planting.

I love this weeping copper beech with the sunlight coming through it.
The nut walk with arches of Hazel.
The canal garden with some impressive yew topiary.

The herb garden.

The Alley.
I want a potting shed like this.

The greenhouse, stuffed to bursting with amazing cacti and pelargoniums.

Espalied pyracantha.
Alpine and rock garden.

Everywhere there are glimpses of each of the separate garden rooms.

At the end of the garden is a border with hot coloured flowers.
A beautiful part of the garden is Sybil's garden, which is a very relaxing space. It is a circular garden split into two halves, the grass is in the sun and the planting is in the shade. There are borders round. It looks like a garden you might see at Chelsea.

A Holly Blue butterfly on its host plant!
A just find the garden so inspiring and lots of ideas for small gardens, its formal yet with beautiful planting. A garden to visit at any time of year.
Visit the website for more information and note the opening hours as it's restricted.

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