Sunday, September 2, 2012


Tuesday July 3rd 2012

The following morning we drove past fields of red corn poppies on the way to Helmsley Walled garden.


The garden dates back to 1759 when it provided fruit and vegetables for the castle and Duncombe Park. The garden was abandoned in the 1970s and from 1994 has been restored under the leadership of Alison Ticehurst and many volunteers. The garden is a charity which provide horticultural therapy for the disadvantaged.

The medieval Helmsley castle can be seen in the background.

The glass houses have been restored to their former glory and I must say they were magnificent. Also the row of cold frames running along the front.

The physic garden with medicinal plants.


Asparagus and soft fruit beds.

Fruit trees espaliered against the high walls. The garden boasts 70 varieties of heritage apple trees and the British Clematis Societies national collection, all tended by an army of volunteers who were much in evidence on the day we visited.


In close vicinity is the manor house of Nunnington Hall.

We first visit the house but my eye is drawn to views into the gardens beyond.

A small enclosed garden, always my favorite.

In the vegetable garden a scarecrow. He doesn't seem to work at keeping away Peter rabbit. See him in the corner?

A square foot garden designed for those who have difficulty bending down.

Sheep fleece used as a mulch underneath the vines.

Catmint along the terrace.

A close up of the willow horses made by sculptor Emma Stothard, in the orchard.

Grass-lined gravel paths.

We just had time to visit Rievaulx Terrace and another chapter in the story of English garden history.


There is some uncertainty as to exactly how the terrace was built, but however it was done it involved a considerable amount of earth moving. A walk through the woods brings the visitor out to a grass covered terrace overlooking the ruins of the Cistercian Rievaulx Abbey. Created in 1758 by Thomas Duncomb III the terrace was designed, once again, to impress. Twice a year a party from the house would arrive in horse-drawn carriages, walk along the Terrace, view the ruins below, and then enter the Temple below where they would be wined and dined.

At the other end is a domed Doric temple.

Views of the abbey would be impossible were it not for cuttings made through the trees to afford the visitor a view of the ruins below. There are at least 13 of these views down to the abbey along the length of the Terrace.

Probably the most expensive garden shed in the world! The Temple is only open for a short period of time and we were fortunate to be there when it was open. The frescoes on the ceiling, depicting Perseus and Andromeda, are by Guiseppi Mattia Borgnis. Unfortunately shortly after finishing this work he died from lead poisoning. The result of many years of licking his paint brushes.

Returning to our B&B for the night we detoured to see the white horse on the hillside.


  1. All beautiful, but WOW--those glasshouses with coldframes....oh, any Northern gardener LUSTS after those. I would just love to have that!

    1. I know, I know. Finally have a greenhouse but it is too small and in Texas! Well I ask you!

  2. Re Rievaulx Terrace, this is a fascinating story which has a hint of an element of ritual about it. Or is this something I'm reading into the twice yearly visits? I'm afraid I'm a sucker for mysteries. :-)
    All the photos are lovely, as always. Thanks so much for allowing us to see and hear about your trips.

    1. Simply a matter of showing off their wealth and the new craze for having a ruin. This was a real ruin and that certainly carried some weight in the world of the wealthy.

  3. breathtaking! What a lovely garden! From afar, those horses looked real...very beautiful!

  4. That was indeed a cool photos! Nice post indeed. Cool! It is really a beauty.