Voting Opens for the 2022 Garden of the Year Award
Voting for the Historic Houses Garden of the Year Award 2022 has now officially begun, with eight extraordinary gardens competing to be named the Garden of the Year in a public vote. The award, launching in 1984, and run in conjunction with Christie’s auction house, has gone from strength to strength since then with over ten thousand votes cast in the 2021 competition.
Shortlisted entries are chosen from among the hundreds of gardens, parks, and grounds that offer free entry to members of Historic Houses, the association that represents and supports the UK’s independent historic homes, castles, and gardens. Details of this year’s eight finalist gardens are detailed below. Voting opens at 10am on Friday 1 April 2022, with the voting page located on the Historic Houses website.
Ben Cowell, Director General of Historic Houses:
“Once again, our Garden of the Year Award celebrates the very best gardens from across the UK – and now, beyond. That’s because for the first time our shortlist features a garden from the Channel Islands too. We are very excited to launch this public vote, at the start of what we hope will be a very successful year for open gardens. The award shines a welcome spotlight on our national passion for horticulture – so we encourage everyone to take a look at the shortlist and cast their vote.”
Ursula Cholmeley, Chair of the Historic Houses Gardens Committee:
“The Garden of the Year Award recognises the beauty and quality of independent historic gardens – often still those of family-owned homes. The contemporary spirit of our great country houses is reflected in gardens in which each generation of inhabitants makes their mark and leaves a legacy for the future. These evolving gardens are amongst the finest in the country and we hope that you will get great pleasure from visiting some of these gardens and voting for your favourite.”
Orlando Rock, Chairman, Christie’s UK:
“If a garden is a reflection of a person’s soul (as The Prince of Wales said) the shortlist for the Historic Houses Garden of the Year sponsored by Christie’s exemplifies some truly wonderful individuals. In addition to being horticultural wonders, the gardens selected from the rich variety across the UK and beyond reveal the changing fashions and tastes which have shaped our outside spaces and lives. I urge you, the public, to vote, and more importantly to get out there, visit and enjoy.”
About the eight competing gardens
The garden at Abbotsford, in Melrose, Roxburghshire, is distinct in character; taken together, the layout forms three outdoor ‘rooms’ designed to offer picturesque settings for the main house. The gardens we see today are still fundamentally Sir Walter Scott’s work, though with certain alterations carried out by his descendants to adapt the space for the changing needs of the family.
The gardens at Bressingham Hall, in Suffolk, range from the colourful island borders encircling the front of the house, laid out by founder Alan Bloom, to Foggy Bottom gardens developed by Alan’s son Adrian. Here you will find wide curving walks and great drifts or ‘rivers’ of perennials and grasses.
At Grimsthorpe Castle Gardens, in Lincolnshire, there is a long history of gardening, which continues to this day with fresh planting ideas that provide something to enjoy whenever you visit. Intricate parterres marked with box hedges lie close to the Castle, and a dramatic herbaceous border frames views across the lake.
Mount Ephraim Gardens, in Kent, are most well-known for their spectacular ten-acre Edwardian gardens featuring a topiary garden, rock and water garden, arboretum and rose garden. They also have a fabulous grass maze, planted with ornamental grasses and herbaceous perennials, and are home to an extensive collection of spring bulbs, trees and shrubs including Rhododendrons, many types of Camelias and Magnolias.
Parcevall Hall Gardens, in North Yorkshire, are a renowned historic plantsman’s garden laid out from 1927 onwards by the late Sir William Milner and set in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Comprising of 24 acres of formal and woodland gardens they rise up a hillside for 200 feet giving wonderful views in every direction.
At Pashley Manor Gardens, in East Sussex, you will discover eleven acres of beautiful borders and vistas – the culmination of a lifetime of passion for gardening and an admiration of the tradition of the English Country Garden. These award-winning gardens are family owned and maintained – visitors often express delight at the attention to detail displayed throughout and the intimate, peaceful atmosphere.
The Wild Subtropical Garden at Sausmarez Manor is an ancient woodland surrounding a couple of small lakes and is inter planted with exotic and subtropical plants, trees, ferns, and shrubs, which, because of Guernsey’s mild, equable climate can survive and flourish. Visitors can enjoy seeing around two hundred varieties of camellia, tree ferns from New Zealand, Australia, and Tasmania, and around forty different bamboos.
At Wentworth Woodhouse’s gardens, in South Yorkshire, you’ll discover a wildflower meadow, ancient trees, shaded woodland copses and 18th Century follies. Roam at your leisure or follow a trail which begins at the Stables and takes in the West Terrace, and don’t miss the sweeping views from the Ha-Ha and South Terrace.
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