The art of the perfect garden

editorial image

We are now in the peak season for visiting gardens and all over Yorkshire gardens large and small will be opening to raise money for charities.

People travel from far and wide to visit open gardens and over the year millions of pounds are raised for good causes. One of the Yorkshire gardens open this weekend – Saturday June 20 and Sunday, June 21 - in aid of the National Garden Scheme (NGS) is Yorke House at Dacre Bank.

The garden is owned by Tony and Pat Hutchinson and to celebrate their 15th anniversary of opening for the NGS, the event will feature a Land Art Sculpture trail of 20 exhibits and an exhibition of paintings by professional northern artist Colin Swinton.

The two-acre garden has been developed by Tony and Pat during the past 20 years and is designed to take advantage of attractive views across the Nidderdale valley. It has several colour-themed areas of herbaceous plants and shrubs, trellises festooned with rambling roses and extensive water features.

Cream teas will be available throughout and visitors may also use the picnic area in the orchard.

There will also be a massive plant sale of unusual plants. Most of the garden is accessible to disabled visitors and dogs are welcome on a lead. The entrance is near the centre of Dacre Banks on the B6451 Otley to Pateley Bridge road and leads to on-site parking. Admission is £4 for adults, children free. For further information contact Pat on 01423 780456 or visit

Jobs for the week.

If you grow grapes in a greenhouse, by now the small bunches of fruit will be starting to develop and swell. To help them grow and ripen later in the summer make sure the roots are kept moist in dry weather and feed with a high potash fertiliser that can be watered in or sprinkled on the soil around the roots.

Sow wallflower seed now in trays or the garden to produce plants that will flower next spring.

Open gardens

Saturday, June 20: Highfield’s Flower Festival & Gala Day, Barkston Ash.10-4pm in aid of Dementia Forward. I’ll also be there answering gardening questions. Free entry.

Sunday, June 21: Birstwith Hall, Nr Harrogate. Large eight acre garden with formal garden, ornamental orchard and Victorian greenhouse. 2-5pm, adm. £4, chd free.

Sunday, June 21: Low Sutton, Masham. 12-5pm. Developed since 2007 a fresh approach to cottage gardening, with roses, clematis and raised vegetable beds.

You can follow Martin on his Face book page, Martin Fish – Simply Gardening or on