York Gate scoops three Bloom awards

York Gate Garden in Adel on the outskirts of Leeds has been honoured with three Yorkshire in Bloom Awards at the annual awards ceremony, which took place on 16th September. The garden, which is owned and run by horticulture trade charity Perennial, received a Gold Award in the ‘Public, Private and Charitable Establishments’ category and was the overall winner in this group. It was also presented with the discretionary Yorkshire Rose Community Award for small groups, recognising the work of the volunteers at York Gate.

In just its second year of entering the competition, York Gate was praised by the judges not only for the exceptional standards of the garden but also the knowledge and talent of its staff and volunteers. York Gate is the flagship garden of Perennial, the charity that helps all horticulturists during times of need, and covers just one acre in size but judges were impressed with its imaginative style and the wide range of plants and features packed into the space. The judges also commended the way the garden is being maintained in the manner of the Arts and Crafts movement in the spirit of the Spencer family’s original design, while investing in exciting plans to develop the site in the future.

Martin Walker, Head Gardener at York Gate, commented: “I am so proud of our achievements and of the efforts of our garden volunteers who spent hours preparing the garden for judging and of our front of house volunteers for their help in making York Gate such a special place to visit. York Gate has a very small staff so we are totally reliant on the hard work of our wonderful volunteers to keep the garden going. We have had a fantastic summer, the garden looks stunning and there is still time to visit as we are open until the end of September.”

York Gate was created by the Spencer family during the second half of the twentieth century and bequeathed to Perennial in 1994, so that it could continue to be enjoyed by the garden-loving public. The garden also received awards success earlier this year when a show garden based on York Gate to celebrate Perennial’s 175th anniversary won the top awards at Harrogate Spring Flower Show.

As a charity, Perennial is reliant on donations from the garden-loving public and the horticulture industry and the upkeep of York Gate depends on these contributions. To help secure the future of this special garden, join the Friends of York Gate scheme for an annual membership fee of £19.50 or make a one-off donation at www.perennial.org.uk.

York Gate garden is open to the public for the remainder of September on Thursdays and Sundays, from 2pm – 5pm. For further information about York Gate visit: www.perennial.org.uk or call 0113 267 8240.

To keep up to date with news from Perennial including advance information of York Gate’s 2015 opening dates, subscribe to Perennial News at www.perennial.org.uk, follow @PerennialGRBS on Twitter or like us on Facebook


Described as one of the UK’s most important small gardens, York Gate is beautiful and innovative, yet occupies just one acre in size. When Frederick Spencer bought York Gate in Adel near Leeds in 1951, it was nothing but a house surrounded by farmland. He laid down the bones of the garden, but after his death in 1963, it was his son Robin who took over the development and design, inspired by some of the outstanding gardens of the Arts & Crafts movement such as Hidcote. He divided the space using yew and beech hedges and created the separate parts of the garden with exquisite attention to detail, while using great skill to unite them into a coherent whole through a continuous succession of vistas and focal points. After Robin’s death, his mother Sybil, a gifted plantswoman, continued to develop the fascinating plant collection, which remains today. On Sybil Spencer’s death in 1994, the garden was bequeathed to Perennial, so that it could continue to live on and be enjoyed by the garden-loving public. Perennial has undertaken works to refurbish various sections of the garden this year and has plans to develop it further.