There’s a whole lot more going on in Yorkshire’s gardens

The latest addition to Yorkshire’s portfolio of award-winning gardens makes its triumphant homecoming this summer, when it takes pride of place at the Great Yorkshire Show.
The Welcome to Yorkshire Rhubarb Crumble and Custard Garden was awarded a Silver Medal and also won People’s Choice Award at the 2010 Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show. The garden will delight visitors to the Great Yorkshire Show (July 13-15) before taking up permanent residence at RHS Harlow Carr, Harrogate.

“This garden celebrates everything that is great about Yorkshire,” says Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity.

“It’s a real slice of what Yorkshire has to offer visitors; it has quality and iconic craftsmanship, world-renowned food, and stunning scenery. We’re absolutely delighted to be bringing the garden and the silver medal back to Yorkshire with us.”

In the garden, a mouthwatering bowl of Yorkshire rhubarb takes pride of place centre stage, with yellow sedum symbolising a generous serving of overflowing custard and crumble represented by a traditional dry stone wall to complete the picture. A Yorkshire handcrafted oak spoon, made by furniture designer Peter Cummings at his studio in Reeth, doubles as a garden chair on the York stone patio. Rhubarb forcing pots create focal points throughout a relaxing, informal space using traditional and natural materials to celebrate Yorkshire produce, craftsmanship and its famous landscape.
Kate Dundas from Gillespies LLP, who designed the garden, says she was thrilled to have been give the opportunity to design her first Yorkshire garden for the Chelsea show.

“I was asked to design a garden that really summed up Yorkshire and all it has to offer – delicious local produce, the friendly welcome that visitors to Yorkshire receive, and of course our warm sense of humour,” she says.

Yorkshire is famed for its green spaces, and the fine open parks and gorgeous gardens laid out in and around the region’s great cities and historic country houses provide perfect settings for inspiring cultural events.
One of the joys of a Yorkshire summer is sitting with friends and a bottle of wine in the grounds of a Yorkshire stately home, enjoying the high points of season of concerts, proms and musical treats.
But outdoor art is also on display all year round here. Yorkshire Sculpture Park is one of the world’s most important showcases for modern sculpture, with scores of works and visiting exhibitions in 500 acres of beautiful 18th-century landscape. Sculptures by Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Elisabeth Frink, David Nash and Anthony Gormley are sited wonderfully on grassy slopes and among trees, and among them you can stroll, picnic and enjoy poetry readings and live musical performances.

Beyond city limits, the grounds of Yorkshire’s great country houses are venues for some simply stunning events. Castle Howard, 15 miles outside York, is one of Britain’s most awe-inspiring country houses, an 18th century palace standing grandly in 1,000 acres of magnificent gardens graced by lakes, fountains and fine statuary. Castle Howard hosts a constant stream of events, and the high point of its season of outdoor concerts is the Proms Spectacular, culminating in a truly unforgettable musical fireworks extravanganza.

There’s more open-air sculpture in the grounds of majestic Harewood House, tucked away on the rural northern edge of Leeds. Harewood’s Proms Spectacular, at the end of August, is a celebration of popular classics performed by leading orchestras, culminating in a pyrotechnic climax and an outburst of flag-waving musical patriotism as the orchestra strikes up Land of Hope and Glory.
Like the gardens of Harewood, the 1,500 acres of superb woodland and parkland that surround Temple Newsam are the work of one of the greatest of all English landscape artists, ‘Capability’ Brown and this glorious 18th century setting is a major national venue for lavish outdoor events such as the hugely popular Opera in the Park in July. It’s a perfect place to relax, picnic and enjoy some well-known favourites presented by leading choral names like Opera North.

There’s something especially spellbinding about a play acted in the great outdoors, and the lovely gardens of medieval Ripley Castle provide a magical setting this summer (June 22-July 11), when Sprite Productions transforms Ripley Woods into the Forest of Arden, setting for Shakespeare’s delightful comedy As You Like It, performed entirely in the open air.
“I am really looking forward to this production,” says Sir Thomas Ingilby, Ripley’s , owner. “The scenery is magnificent and will inspire the actors, and the audience. This is going to be something very special.”

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