Mount St John
Mount St John overlooks the Vale of York. On a clear day the towers of the Minster are visible on the horizon 25 miles to the South. At an elevation of 500 feet the garden at Mount St John is in effect an homage to this view. The owners, the Blundell family, commissioned Tom Stuart Smith in 2004, and the main garden was completed in 2006, with the valley garden commenced in 2007 and still ongoing.
The monastic foundations of the preceptory belonging to the Knights Hospitaller of the order of St John of Jerusalem lie in the field below the Georgian property of 1720. The Victorian kitchen garden and cut flower garden continue to innovate year-on-year supplying local restaurants with produce. An adjoining valley garden, containing three pools, and commenced in 2007, is still in progress.
There is much for guests to enjoy including ornamental trees, rhododendrons, shrubs and thousands of perennials that fill the garden. We begin the day with coffee and biscuits followed by a garden tour led by Head of Gardens Elizabeth Balmforth. A delicious lunch at the nearby Carpenters Arms made with produce from Mount St John’s kitchen garden concludes our visit.
Photos © Andrew Lawson