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

Annie's Little Plot

Annie's Little Plot

Thursday, 21 January 2016

A tour of ..... Nunnington Hall

So on a day when all is frozen outside and everyone else is posting pictures of their plots in the snow and frost. Where there is little that can be done but plan and dream about the season ahead I thought I would post about a visit I made last year to Nunnington Hall in Yorkshire. I visited on one of the hottest days of 2015, it was a muggy day, hazy sunshine in the morning but then clouds building and thunderstorms a brewing. It is a less well known National Trust property I would say so I didn't really know what to expect but I was in for a real treat.
It is an old Yorkshire country house by the river Rye, but what struck me most was the naturalistic planting, not really what you expect for such a formal house and quite different from other National Trust gardens that I've visited. There were lovely meadow areas underplanting the fruit trees and two lines of meadow up the formal path up to the gate. So it kept some of the formality of a grand garden but somehow there was a relaxed feeling to the place, maybe it was the hot, balmy weather. There were garden games set out to play with, such as croquet, and lovely big chairs outside the house to sit back and relax in. The garden is completely organic and has been so since 2002.
The next two photos are taken from a balcony on the house.

There were two squares of Orchard land on either side of the house with apple trees and the grass allowed to grow into meadow.

And yet there were formal features which juxtaposed with the informal planting of the meadows. I love the cloud pruned box hedge next to the wildness of the meadow.
The orchard meadow was home to some baby peacocks, not sure if you can spot them with their mum.
There were some lovely espaliered apple trees along the old walls of the garden.
 At the top end of the meadow area is a long thin herbaceous border. But even this felt quite a natural blend.

Walking away from the main part of the garden, there was the kitchen garden. I'm always a sucker for a good kitchen garden, and this one didn't disappoint. It had lots of healthy looking fruit and vegetables. There was even a grapevine in North Yorkshire. They use a mixture of traditional and modern horticultural methods to enable them to be completely organic. This area was geared towards encouraging children to learn about growing vegetables and to teach everyone about their organic principles and methods.

The majestic foliage of the globe artichokes next to tall healthy silvery foliage of the broad beans.

And look who is here.
There was a pretty herb and medicinal garden and a great fruit cage.
 There was a great potting shed.
Walking back to the main garden, there was a small cutting patch of annuals, with a gorgeous Californian poppy, I've not seen them this colour before so will looking to get some seed of that for my cutting patch. A gorgeous pink mix. This is the Iris garden, so in late Spring would be at its peak with spires of Iris.
The Nunnington wishing tree, for you to tie and ribbon and make a wish!

My wish is for you to go and visit this lovely garden, there are not masses of garden to see here or any big garden design features, its not got any particular unusual plant collections, but I loved the wildness, the informality and the feeling of the place. Add it to your list of places to visit in 2016.
Hope I've instilled some warmth into you on this grey chilly day.


  1. What a great day, amazing pictures

  2. Oh I just love this garden. The mixture of formal and natural are perfect and that veg garden is to die for.

    1. I loved it so had to post about, think its a National Trust property that often gets forgotten. I loved it, be interesting to see it at different times of the year.

  3. A most enjoyable post, and lovely pictures. It looks like a really good place to visit.
    Those California Poppies could be the variety Pink Bush, which Chiltern Seeds list catalogue ref. 534W. Flighty xx

  4. We visited here back in 2010 and I remember the scarecrows and wishing tree were there then.

  5. what a lovely visit you nice to some warm and colourful pics.

  6. What a lovely place to visit, I loved it, such variety, formal and informal planting, running has everything! What a fab veg bed too. I loved the friendship tree, I have an old stump in my courtyard that has lots of friendship ribbons