Thursday, 30 August 2012

Scampston Hall

The 'Drifts of Grass' area is elegant and placid, and despite, or more probably because, only Molinia 'Poul Petersen' is used, it is intensely satisfying.
Since it opened in 2004 the Walled Garden at Scampston has become one of England's most noted modern gardens, so was a natural choice for an early visit in my tour of Yorkshire gardens. Another incentive is that it is less than six miles from here, perfect for a Sunday afternoon outing.

Scampston Hall has been in the same family since the 1690s, and as the brochure remarks, they have 'employed some notable gardeners', starting with Charles Bridgeman in the 1720s, moving through Lancelot Brown, and most recently Piet Oudolf. It is the Oudolf creation in the walled garden that has won the plaudits, and one can see why. It is a large space divided into ten separate garden areas, each of which is amply spacious and well-proportioned: although each can stand alone one leads harmoniously into the next, usually through the immaculately clipped hedges that provide the element of continuity. I found it to be truly delightful.

The 'Perennial Meadow' is the heart of the garden and resplendent at present with carefully chosen perennials and a smattering of grasses.

The stunning Helenium 'Kupferzwerg'

Echinacea pallida, with a magenta Monarda behind to irritate Mark Brown: but there are no screaming yellow and magenta combinations here!

Syneilesis growing in the Plantsman's Walk - a cunning device to bring one into the heart of the garden unexpectedly, at the further end from the ticket booth. A broad border with interesting planting against the wall is edged by a path, itself bounded by a dense screening hedge.

The Serpentine Garden seen from The Mount, which reveals the garden as a whole rather than as the rooms passed through at ground level.

It seems that the other garden areas at Scampston Hall have only been opened to visitors quite recently. They may lack the spectacle of the Walled Garden, but are well worth exploring on the Cascade Circuit Walk. This takes one through the parkland and gardens adjacent to the house, to explore the older landscape that surrounds the house; after the continental gardening inside the wall it all becomes very English once again.

The Palladian Bridge spanning one of Capability Brown's lakes.

Scampston Hall looks out over a broad expanse of parkland with some fine trees.


  1. A super garden, especially at this time of the year. We thought the Plantsman's Walk was a brilliant idea and I will not forget seeing kingfishers for the first time - by the footbridge near the cascade. We quite liked the restaurant too!

  2. This is one of my must-see gardens, but it's quite a long way from the South Coast...perhaps next year! Thanks for the post.

  3. Piet is quite rightly very happy and proud of this work!

  4. And the 'Perennial Meadow'is quite beautiful. No primary yellow huge blobs and magenta phlox here!LOL

  5. Wow! What an astounding garden. The plants are so green and luscious. They truly are well taken care of.
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