Perennial, Gardeners’ Royal Benevolent Fund celebrates 175th anniversary

PUBLISHED: 00:05 23 April 2014

A stunning view of the garden at Ellerker House in Everingham

A stunning view of the garden at Ellerker House in Everingham

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Yorkshire gardeners help celebrate a very hardy perennial

Gifted amateur gardener Roz Los has spent 20 years creating a beautiful five-acre oasisGifted amateur gardener Roz Los has spent 20 years creating a beautiful five-acre oasis

Charity usually begins at home, but for four generous Yorkshire horticulturalists it starts in the garden.

Roz Los, Gilda Brader, Robert Scott and Jarrod Marsden are all opening their gardens this summer to raise much-needed funds for Perennial, which offers free, confidential advice, support and financial assistance to people of all ages working in or retired from horticulture.

The charity, which is celebrating its milestone 175th anniversary this year, provides a helping hand across the sector to employed and self-employed gardeners, nursery staff, parks and grounds staff, landscapers, tree surgeons and people working in intensive horticultural production.

‘I first discovered Perennial after seeing them at Chelsea Flower Show,’ said Roz, whose home at Ellerker House (ellerkerhouse.weebly.com) in Everingham, near Pocklington, has become a popular fundraising venue for the charity. ‘It was a name I had frequently seen but had no idea what it did and certainly didn’t appreciate how old the charity was and just what it continues to contribute.

East Yorkshire gardener Roz Los enjoys planting colour-themed bordersEast Yorkshire gardener Roz Los enjoys planting colour-themed borders

‘After talking to the organisers I discovered it’s the only charity to support people who work in horticulture. So I decided I wanted to support them. To this end, I offer my garden as a venue along with The Manor House as a joint opening for a garden lovers’ day out.’

Three beautiful Yorkshire gardens are being opened to the public this summer to raise much-needed money for Perennial.

Linden Lodge in Newbridge Lane, near Wilberfoss to the east of York, is open on Saturday June 14th from 11am- 3pm. Tickets are £30, including a picnic lunch.

This very special garden, skilfully tended by owners Robert Scott and Jarrod Marsden, is an ever-evolving treat that features in ‘100 Inspirational Gardens of England’.

After a welcome drink, visitors will be escorted by the duo of genial hosts around their one-acre formal garden to see the many and varied choices of unusual plants and trees.

Then it’s on to the five-acres of developing meadow, small groupings of indigenous trees, more than 450 Norwegian spruce, hens, bees, wildlife habitat and finally, in a far-flung field, rare breed Shetland sheep.

After a delicious picnic lunch, supplied by local producers, visitors are then free wander and revisit favourite places and hidden corners.

Roz Los and Gilda Brader are offering a double-header of garden delights on Thursday July 17th, giving gardening enthusiasts the chance to enjoy both Manor Farm in Thixendale and Ellerker House in Everingham on the same day.

The event, which lasts from 10.30am-4.30pm (visitors should factor in a 25-minute transfer), includes tea on arrival, a two-course buffet lunch at Manor Farm and tea and homemade cakes at Ellerker House. Tickets are £69.

Gilda created her garden, which wraps itself around her farm house, from scratch on a steep-sided valley. The main lawn leads to a range of garden ‘rooms’ with a little knot garden, arbour, trickling waterfall and alpines growing amongst local stone. Visitors who venture through the pergola will come to a bespoke summerhouse, a small formal pool, a sphere and numerous topiary displays, urns, wire animals and pots.

You won’t be stuck for company either as hens, geese, horses and Highland cattle all help to complete Gilda’s rural idyll.

After lunch, it’s on to Ellerker House, which once formed part of the Everingham estate and was owned by the Duke of Norfolk. Here, Roz has spent 20 years creating a lovely five-acre garden, including many mature and unusual trees like Atlantic beech and Norwegian maple.

Among the many highlights of this meticulously-tended garden are a traditional thatched and oak breeze hut, a long archway smothered in old English roses, a charming natural lake (once an old Marl pit), a wooded walkway and 11 acres of woodland.

If you would like to open your garden for charity or would simply like more information about Perennial, Gardeners’ Royal Benevolent Fund, call 0845 230 1839 or visit perennial.org.uk.

Gate opens

York Gate Garden near Leeds has been revitalised for the 2014 season. Parts of the garden, which is owned and run by national horticulture charity Perennial, have been replanted and refreshed as part of its ongoing programme of restoration.

An intimate and charming garden inspired by the Arts & Crafts movement, York Gate was created by the Spencer family in the second half of the 20th century and is widely recognised as one of the most innovative small gardens of its period.

Head gardener Martin Walker said: ‘It’s a challenge refurbishing a mature garden in the modest space we have at York Gate. We’ve replanted the perennial borders in the White Garden and plan to introduce annuals to give a longer and more sustained display for visitors to enjoy. We are also creating a long-term plan to help us guide the future of this garden which has a special place in the hearts of many of its visitors.’

York Gate is open on Thursday and Sunday from 2-5pm in April, May and September; Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday in June, July and August; Bank Holiday Monday in April, May and August; and from 6.30-9pm on June 11th, 18th and 25th. n

Standard admission is £4.50. For more information, visit yorkgate.org.uk.

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