York Gate is widely considered one of the UK’s best small gardens, designed in the Arts & Crafts style as a series of beautifully crafted outdoor rooms.
York Gate – one of Perennial’s gardens
York Gate is widely considered one of the UK’s best small gardens, designed in the Arts & Crafts style as a series of beautifully crafted outdoor rooms. It was created by the Spencer family during the 20th century and entrusted to Perennial in 1994 so that the garden could live on and continue to be enjoyed by the public. As the profile of the garden continues to grow, Perennial has invested in developing it to ensure it has the capacity to welcome more visitors in the future.
A new Mediterranean sunken garden will be unveiled at York Gate, along with a fantastic new cafe and sun terrace for visitors to enjoy. There will also be a new gift shop, plant centre and heritage centre dedicated to the Spencer family who bequeathed the garden to the charity Perennial.
The new Mediterranean garden to the front of the house was created by award winning landscape architect Alistair Baldwin and York Gate Head Gardener, Ben Preston. Here mature olives trees and pines along with local sandstone boulders create the feeling of a derelict olive grove in Andalusia. The south-facing slope will be planted with an array of drought tolerant perennials and shrubs. Emerging early in the year irises and narcissus will be followed by swathes of dainty species tulips. Hardy Aloes, Agave and Euphorbia will be dotted between feathery European grasses, as well as Kniphofia, Eryngium and Agapanthus come mid-summer.
Overlooking the new garden, the brand new café with its attractive sun terrace will be a big draw for visitors and will open all year round. Its menu will focus on wholesome homemade food, reflecting the seasons and promoting local produce.
The new facilities also include a larger plant centre, which will help visitors turn garden inspiration into reality. There will be a wide range of plants including those propagated and grown on site by the garden team. The wonderful gift shop is the perfect place to find something special including a wide range of gifts and goodies for the home and garden.
York Gate also boasts a stunning traditional wildflower meadow where visitors can wander and enjoy a picnic. Mown paths lead through the tall grass, interspersed with winter flowering fruit trees surrounded by the ancient Adel woods. Perennial has also invested in building a new onsite car park at the back of the gardens making access easier and more comfortable for visitors.
Photo credit - Carole Drake