Competitive Gardening in Yorkshire

Which of Yorkshires great gardens, that are open to the public, would you think comes at the top of the pile in competitive gardening terms. RHS judges may be biased towards Harlow Carr so you can vote in our comments section below. I have gone for Parcevall Hall at Appletreewick but here are some others to tempt you or you may recommend another garden.

Newby Hall & Garden

Newby Hall and Garden is well known in the gardening fraternity as an impressive example of well designed and extensive range of garden features, expertly decorated with a diverse range of plants. The truly magnificent herbaceous borders are the central feature of the gardens but are by no means the only feature of quality. Garden rooms and themed planting provide a range of style’s that can easily be incorporated into most gardens large or small. Of particular value is the work on plant conservation and Newby boasts the best collection of the genus Cornus in the Country.” I would also add the acid lovers Azaleas, Camellias, Rhododendrons and Magnolias so recommend visiting in April or May.


Harewood House

Harewood Himalayan Garden

Known for the imposing house and sweeping terrace there is much to satisfy the gardener. The Himalayan garden and the walled vegetable area are the features I most appreciated on my last visit. Designed by Capability Brown there are 1000 acres of parkland with many sumptuous trees and even a bird garden containing many varied species.
Tours of the Queen’s cousins house are an optional extra

Burnby Hall Garden

Burnby Hall Pocklington

Two magnificent lakes hold a national collection of Water Lilies. Watch the numerous fish weave in and out of the plants then come and gaup at the tourists. Then you can walk through the Secret garden and rockeries or follow the woodland walk and pick up green gardening tips. Open March- October.

Parcevall Hall Garden Skyreholme


Tucked away in the Yorkshire dales is a retreat surrounded by wonderful gardens. Many rare plants are grown in this high garden 800 feet above sea level. Limestone is the local natural rock and formal ponds and terraces have been cut into the landscape that provides grand Yorkshire views over the surrounding hills.
In complete contrast there is also a Himalayan area for plants that like acid soils.

York Gate Garden


This is the garden near Leeds that is owned by the gardeners charity ‘Perennial’. Although small it contains many interesting features including a white garden, dwarf conifers and 14 smaller garden rooms. Design is the feature you are most impressed with as you leave this garden with the plants tucked under your arm that you know have been cultivated there.

Thorp Perrow Arboretum

jennys walk

All the fun of the trees with no little bonsai to worry about. National collections are held of Ash, Lime, Laburnum, Walnut and Cotinus plus what seems like an infinite number of Hydrangea. For the family there is also a Falconry and good coffee shop.

Ripley Castle & Gardens


Walking along from the castle terrace you get fantastic views over the lakes and deer park beyond. There is a woodland trail and an extended walk for the energetic. The large herbaceous borders create such a riot of colour between June and October each year but for me the old hot houses containing a highly impressive collection of tropical plants, ferns and cacti is the key feature.
Ancient wisteria thrive on the high south-facing walls opposite the walled kitchen garden. This is maintained in neat order with the Henry Doubleday Research Association and contains an extensive herb bed and collection of rare vegetables.

Burton Agnes Garden Driffield

I have yet to visit this garden in the East Riding hence the absence of a photo. I was recommended to look for the old walled garden with a national collection of Campanula. The topiary Yews must be seen as are many of the other features in this garden which open 1 April – 31st October and earlier for the snowdrops.


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