Beningbrough Hall’s 10-year garden transformation continues with a month of public planting

PUBLISHED: 00:00 14 September 2016

Beningbrough Hall

Beningbrough Hall

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Creating the perfect ha-ha walk is no laughing matter. It takes time, vision and a lot of help from your trowel-wielding friends. Which is why Beningbrough Hall is calling on green-fingered members of the public to help plants thousands of bulbs throughout September.

Time to dig inTime to dig in

It’s hoping to create a beautiful ha-ha walk colourfully peppered with narcissi, crocuses and daffs.

The new attraction is the first part of a larger garden vision being implemented by the National Trust. Award-winning garden designer Andy Sturgeon has been appointed to develop a ten-year plan to evolve the garden, ensuring Beningbrough is a place where visitors can let off steam, enjoy their time together and appreciate the beauty of the surroundings.

The National Trust property, renowned for its gallery and gardens, is inviting visitors to leave a lasting impression on the grounds by planting bulbs along the ha-ha walk every weekend in September.

The hall is celebrating its 300th anniversary this year (it looks very good for its age) and, as part of the year-long festivities, the National Trust is planting 300,000 bulbs. Well, we say the National Trust – it’s actually the public who’re doing the spadework.

Young people especially are encouaged to join inYoung people especially are encouaged to join in

Visitors first donned their gardening gloves in February, helping to plant around 200,000 snowdrops around the green. Now, as September dawns, it’s time to dig in the final 100,000 bulbs, following Andy’s design closely to include pastel tones of purple from crocuses, blues from chinodoxa (known as ‘glory of the snow’) and whites and yellows from daffodils.

The bulb-planting bonanza is suitable for the whole family; there are gloves for children and for bigger hands too. Whether you join the digging party of not, there will be a host of flower-related art activities to get involved in (particularly useful if the weather is inclement) and hot dishes from the autumn harvest on offer in the restaurant.

When complete, the ha-ha walk will take visitors through a quiet part of Beningbrough’s gardens, where the colours change through the year, making the most of the stunning views of the south parkland through mature trees towards the river. w

Bulbs will be ready for planting every weekend in September from 10.30am-5pm. For more information, call 01904 472027 or visit

Andy SturgeonAndy Sturgeon

Handy Andy

:: Andy Sturgeon, who graduated from the Welsh College of Horticulture in 1987, has been creating dynamic external spaces for private, commercial and international clients since 1988.

:: He’s been twice voted one of the top ten garden designers in the UK and has won numerous awards, including seven gold medals and twice Best in Show at Chelsea Flower Show.

:: Andy lectures around the world. He’s a published author, journalist and broadcaster and an active commentator in the international garden design sector.

:: He’s presented gardening programmes for all the major channels including Chelsea Flower Show for the BBC since 2005. He’s also a columnist for the Guardian, Daily Mail, Daily Express and Sunday Times.

:: Andy’s first book Planted shook-up the gardening world with its ground-breaking approach and fresh outlook. His second, Potted, helped revitalise the tarnished image of indoor plants by positioning them as stylish, indispensable features of interior design. More recently, he published the widely acclaimed Big Plans, Small Spaces. A book on larger landscapes is on its way.

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