New and returning gardens refresh our 2022 portfolio
To launch the National Garden Scheme’s new season, Chief Executive George Plumptre selects some of his garden highlights.
“We were delighted that our gardens in England and Wales registered to open in 2022 in their usual numbers, but that additionally we can announce gardens openings for the very first time in Northern Ireland and The Channel Islands. This is our first sortie into new geographical territories, and I am sure we will see expansion in both in the coming years.
“Every year our new gardens opening for the first time refresh our portfolio and expand our interest and for 2022, including gardens opening as part of a group, there are more than 600. It’s always hard to choose but they include some real stars which I have mentioned below. Similarly, we love welcoming back gardens that have taken a break which this year total 475. They include a number coming back after the pandemic, as well as some special places that have not opened for many years as you can see from the selection below. These groups both contain spectacular large gardens, but they also illustrate the range and diversity that is now such a hallmark of the National Garden Scheme which we are focused on expanding in the coming years.
“Visiting the garden of East Cliff in Bembridge, Isle of Wight, which was designed by Arabella Lennox-Boyd, was a real highlight for me in 2021 and this superb garden is opening for the first time in June. Deep in the countryside of the Welsh Marches, renowned interior designer Penny Morrison and her art dealer husband Guy are opening their garden at Evancoyd Court. Our chairman Rupert Tyler will be familiar with the garden of his alma mater, Winchester College, recently redesigned by his partner Charles Rutherfoord and another new addition for 2022.
“Naturalistic gardens in a spectacular rural setting are increasingly popular and two uplifting examples opening for the first time are Cold Comfort Farm in Pembrokeshire and Droomveld in Northumberland. Tudor Croft in Yorkshire (main image) proves that Arts and Crafts remains enduringly popular – who could resist that rose pergola, and two large gardens that combine history with new features are Netherby Hall in Cumbria and Shortridge Hall in Northumberland, the latter recently redesigned by Adam Frost.
“Two of my all-time favourite gardens that I first visited more than 30 years ago are wonderful Shute House in Dorset designed by Geoffrey Jellicoe and Abbots Ripton Hall in Cambridgeshire
where the famous double border is as good as ever. So I am delighted that both are rejoining us after gaps of many years. After the generous gift of The Laskett in Herefordshire to Perennial, one of our long-term beneficiaries, Sir Roy Strong will be pleased that once again his garden is opening. And we have a quartet of stupendous country house gardens to round off this selection of returning stars: Madresfield Court in Worcestershire – owned by the same family since the 12th century and one of our first openers in 1927; Athelhampton in Dorset with its formal Edwardian elegance; the 18th century walled garden at Flintham Hall in Nottinghamshire with views to the Victorian house and its enormous conservatory; and spacious Milton Hall in Cambridgeshire where Humphry Repton’s part surrounds Italianate formal gardens.”
With over 3,500 gardens opening in 2022 you’ll be spoilt for choice!