Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Wednesday July 4th,
Before we left our Yorkshire B&B of the previous two nights, Hazelwood Farm and Guesthouse, I had the opportunity to accompany Annette on her morning visit to the chicken coup. Oh, to have reached this stage in life and never to have had my own chickens. So sad!

Two eggs in the nest this morning.

I then took a quick stroll around the garden. Everything is so lush and green with all the rain.

The view across the farm lands.

We had plans to visit Studley Royal this morning but then Annette told us about another garden, Newby Hall and Gardens. We decided to add this to the itinerary.

The house was designed by Sir Christopher Wren (St Paul's) and is surrounded by 25 acres of gardens. We had become so used to free entry to National Trust properties using our Royal Oak membership that we had to swallow hard to pay the nearly £20 entry for two to visit just the gardens. In the end we decided we may never come this way again so we might as well do it.

Very little of the original gardens, which were installed in 1695, remain today. Major Edward Compton, who inherited Newby in 1921 is largely responsible for the garden layout as it looks today. He was influenced by Lawrence Johnson, who owned Hidcote, and created a main axis to the garden in the form of a double herbaceous border flanked by yew hedges. Off this were several garden rooms.

Following the major's death the gardens fell into some disrepair mainly because they were so labor intensive. The major's son and wife had a keen interest in plants and over a period of 10 years they replanted all the gardens.

David enjoys the view from the highly decorated Italianate bench.

Sylvia's Garden. A memorial to Sylvia, wife of the major. The garden was created on 3 levels with an ancient Byzantine corngrinder as its centerpiece and is planted in muted pinks, purples and blues.

Could this be the Rambling Rector again?

The rock garden with aqueduct, no longer in use.

Pieces of old stone carvings from York Cathedral.

Grasses in the meadow.

The rose garden.


A gabion bench.


Fountains Abbey was founded in 1132. The valley of the River Skell provided all they needed to build the magnificent monastery. When they were admitted to the Cistercian Order they were able to take advantage of the lay brother system which meant the lay brothers could do all the day to day work around the monastery. It became a community of masons, tanners, carpenters, shoemakers and blacksmiths. One of their major roles was to look after their vast herds of sheep. With the sale of wool the monastery gained great wealth but as often happens they were tempted to expand their holdings. Then came the Black Death, invasions from the Scots and loss of lay members. Still, even with the decrease in the importance of sheep farming coupled with an increase in diary farming the monastery still retained its importance until Henry VIII and the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Gradually the building was dismantled until it is as seen today.

The altar.


The ruins passed through many hands until bought by William Aislabie. It was the final step in finishing the Georgian garden which his father had begun. This style of gardening, which began in the 18th century, had a major influence on the gardens of Europe.
Taking the high ride walk the views of water and greenscape are magnificent. There are several follies including the Octagon Tower.

The Rotunda.

Serpentine waterways

The headless statue, "Anne Boleyn"

And at the end the surprise view of the ruined abbey in the distance.

The moon pool

We could have spent a whole day there exploring the deer park and other buildings but we still had to find our B&B for the night. With only the name of the village and a road called Old Rd we had some difficulty finding the house but with help in the local pub we soon found our way to Crooklands with its delightful setting looking over the valley. We were lucky to get in just before the rain started but I knew I was going to be out there in the garden the next morning.

One quick photo and a dash inside to look through the bedroom window at a very rainy scene. Good job our hosts were cooking our dinner and we didn't have to leave the comfort of the house.

More photos of the garden in the morning.


  1. What a time you are having! All that beauty - and chickens, too! Heaven.

  2. I LOVE reading your blog and drool over the English gardens. :)

    A few friends and I are going to London for spring break. Are there any worthwhile gardens in the city limits that are worth the time (and perhaps money) to visit?

    1. Yes, there are a number of gardens. Here is a link to give you some idea. I would say The Chelsea Physic, Hampton Court and Kew would be tops. They do have entry fees which seem quite steep by American standards. If you look at some of the smaller gardens there are a couple that are free and look like they would be worth a visit. There is a link to the prices on each garden. http://www.visitlondon.com/attractions/outdoors/london-gardens
      Hope this helps and glad you enjoy my blog.

  3. Those pictures were wonderful, especially that last garden! I would love to spend days exploring it. I also liked the gabion bench - it seems like it fits in that garden, but also in a more modern garden at the same time. Thank you for the lovely pictures!

  4. I love that first garden -- all those formal vistas are beautiful. I don't care for the gabion bench though. It seems too contemporary for this garden, doesn't it?

  5. You have done the impossible. Several of the pictures in this post made we wish for a lush perfect lawn, but only for a brief moment.