A morning at York Gate Garden

Regular readers will know that I am currently fundraising for the horticultural charity Perennial by going on a nighttime trek up Snowdon in May 2022.  Another way that Perennial raise funds is through the three gardens that they own and open to the public:  York Gate, Fullers Mill and The Laskett.  I have visited The Laskett a couple of times before it was donated to Perennial by its owner Sir Roy Strong.  I have been keen to visit York Gate for quite a while and suddenly the perfect opportunity was presented to me.

As some of you will know, when I am not sowing I am sewing and I do enjoy a good sewing retreat.  I was going to one I have been to a few times in Cleckheaton and it was running at a slightly different format to the usual weekend.  This time we were meeting at lunch time on the Friday and then having two full days of sewing over the rest of the weekend.  I looked on a map to see where York Gate was in relation to Cleckheaton and it is around 35 minutes away.  So the plan was set.  Up to York Gate for when it opens, a nice wander around, lunch in the cafe and then off to Cleckheaton.  I do like a plan.
and what a good plan it turned out to be.  It was a cool start to the day, perfect for garden-bothering.  It is not the largest garden you will ever visit, but as we are often told, size does not matter and as my time was limited I was pleased I could spend enough time there to enjoy it.  I could of course have spent longer time there too given half a chance.
The garden is divided into different areas and you wander from one area to the other.  It is all currently covid-safely distanced but I confess to having a bit of a problem with one way systems in gardens.  Sorry, I know they are necessary but you end up not being able to move forward as the people in front of you are looking at something.  Not that I blame them for taking their time, that is what I want to do too.  I just feel that if we could wander at will we would bump into each other less.  Rant over, let's hope such restrictions will not be necessary for too much longer.
I always enjoy a garden that includes an homage to Cousin It.  There are a lot of conifers and topiary in this garden all used to great effect.  York Gate was purchased by the Spencer family in the 1950s and was gardened by successive family members until Sybil Spencer died in 1994 who kindly bequeathed it to Perennial.  You can see the Arts and Crafts influences in the garden and also the love of collecting interesting plants.
It is a garden where the details are important.  You need to walk around slowly and more than once as you need to look up, look down and look around.
There are interesting nooks.
Shady corners,
Focal points, 
Lots of excellent benches.
and possibly the best potting shed I have ever seen.
There are these wonderful tree ferns that you can see have air plants planted into the trunks.
A sign of a good garden visit is when you leave with a good gardening idea, and I loved this idea.
This is a fantastic garden, there is so much to see.  

so much to see in fact that I have purposely not shown you all of it in the hope that you may get to visit yourself one day.  It is beautifully maintained and the staff and volunteers in the garden were so friendly and welcoming.  I had an excellent lunch in the cafe and then wended my way westerly to Cleckheaton (where I also had the best of weekends).
If you can visit York Gate Gardens then you really should.  It is charming and interesting and a pleasant green pause in a day.  You will also be supporting this very worthy charity.   I will be returning I am sure and of course, I now need to visit Fullers Mill so that I have visited all the Perennial gardens.

Stay safe and be kind.

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