Monday, 24 April 2017

Ryedale Residents Return!

Scampston's most successful Community Weekend to-date

It's been a busy weekend: 1500 visitors & a whopping 400 slices of cake! 

This weekend we opened the garden gates once more for another Community Weekend. Word had clearly spread about the event, as local residents arrived in droves all making the most of the offer of free entry.

With glorious sunshine across the whole weekend, especially the Sunday, visitors were able to enjoy the gardens at this early stage in the season. Young children enjoyed exploring the fairy trail and finding our resident fairies. 

Grown ups enjoyed tucking into one of our scones, baked that morning. Some of them did really deserve it, having cycled over 20 miles to Scampston in first place, and facing the same journey home! 

An incredible number of visitors had never been before, so we hope they were pleasantly surprised, and that they will be back later in the season when the garden is in full bloom. Many had recently moved to the area and were thrilled to be able to get an introduction to all we have to offer here at Scampston.

Ryedale, it's been an absolute pleasure! 

Friday, 21 April 2017

All things bright and beautiful

We are delighted to be working closely with Natural England this year to offer a whole series of exciting family activities and talks throughout the season. 

It all kicked off on Tuesday this week with a Wonderful Wildlife Day with wormeries, barn owls and other wildlife. 

Making Wormeries with the North Yorkshire Rotters
The wormery was a great success with the children, especially the boys!  They were thrilled to take home a mini wormery with them. 

Meeting an Owl from Ryedale Wildlife Rehabilitation
Jean Thorpe from Ryedale Wildlife Rehabilitation, brought a barn owl to the event.  “Its always good to get youngsters interested in wildlife”. Parents and children were able to learn how to dissect an owl pellet. The children then went on to make owls out of paper plates.

Craig Ralston, Natural England also showed children how to ring birds and to remove them when trapped in netting. He said “It was great to see such a good turn out and to see such positive engagement going on – and hopefully inspiring the next generation with the natural environment.”

Do join us for our next event on Wednesday 26th April for the first in a series of family-friendly mini lectures from Natural England. The talk will be 6.30pm - 8pm. 

The first talk will show the importance of the Lower Derwent Valley and the wildlife it supports. Children will also hear the incredible tales and travels of 'Winston' the whimbrel, and see some incredible photography. 

Please see our website for more details: 

Keep an eye out as more will be announced throughout the year!

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Planting perennials & building homes for bees!

We've had a busy day at Scampston welcoming students from two local primary schools - Rillington and West Heslerton. A number of beds within the Walled Garden have been set aside especially so local children can be involved in their planting. The children learnt all about planting, and the benefits that plants bring to other creatures - especially birds, bees and butterflies.  

This project forms part of Capability Brown's 300th anniversary celebrations. The team at Scampston have been eager to show children and adults alike the importance of biodiversity and habitats. This is something that Capability Brown achieved with the varied landscapes he created - with his use of trees and lakes. 

The beds have been planted with six hardy perennials, which will provide homes and food for insects and birds throughout the year. Each of the schools were able to take away some of the plants, along with a beehouse and a birdbox. Pupils will then be able to monitor the activity around the plants, and watch as they grow and bloom. They will also be invited back to Scampston to see how their hard work has paid off.

Thank you very much to all the volunteers and teachers that made today possible. Apologies to all the parents who will be picking up muddy children this evening! Still, great fun was had by all.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Voting opens! Scampston Walled Garden represents Yorkshire in National Countryfile Magazine Awards

As part of the celebration of the British Countryside, we are delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for Garden of the Year!

The only Yorkshire garden to have been shortlisted for the category of Garden of the Year, we will need to secure more public votes than the other four nominees to win the award before the voting closes on 28th February.

This is just a gentle nudge to request that you spare 10 seconds to cast a vote. Just go to this link, select your favourite garden (hopefully us!) and enter your email address. Hey presto - it's done!  

Scampston Walled Garden is also the only attraction, destination or business from Ryedale to be nominated across all Countryfile Magazine Award categories.

Alongside Scampston Walled Garden, the category of Garden of the Year has four other contenders: Hauser & Wirth in Somerset, Trebah in Cornwall, Great Dixter in East Sussex & Interewe Gardens in Wester Ross. All have been chosen by Joe Swift, presenter of Gardeners’ World, journalist and garden designer.

In describing why he chose Scampston Walled Garden, Joe Swift said: “At Scampston Hall [Piet Oudolf] has reinvented what can go into a Victorian walled kitchen garden. A path leads halfway around the outside edge to build up expectation before all is revealed; wide meadows of grasses, sumptuous perennial planting, garden rooms with simple topiary pieces as well as a viewing mound.”

Whatever the outcome, we feel very privileged to have gained this recognition in a national competition. We are keeping our fingers and toes crossed though! 

Friday, 9 December 2016

Scampston's Christmas Market

Sunday the 27th November saw our Christmas Market get under way despite the confusion with the road works on the A64! Volunteers worked hard on previous days setting up and stallholders were there bright and early on the Sunday morning unloading their wares. 

The Conservatory looked spectacular on a bright winter's day. A Scampston tree was proudly on display.

Business was brisk all day from 10am to 2.30pm with a steady stream of visitors. 

The volunteer’s craft stall had a wonderful display of Christmas gifts and decorations showcasing the hard work of the craft classes. The Bran Bin was a great hit with our younger visitors. The mulled wine and mince pies went down a treat, along with Carol Lyon’s Christmas Cake which was a sellout.

One of the stallholders selling Christmas Wreaths, planters and Festive Garlands is coming along on the 14th December to hold a class teaching attendees how to make those beautiful Christmas Wreaths and Garlands. 

To find out more about this course, visit our website or contact Gill Garbutt on 01944 758646.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016


It's feeling remarkably festive in the Walled Garden now our Christmas Trees are on sale. We've put together some top tips to help you keep your tree looking glossy and green until the 6th January, and to prevent it dropping those pines on your presents! 
How to Care for Your Farm-Grown Christmas Tree
When a Christmas tree is cut, more than half its weight is water. With proper care, you can maintain the quality of your tree. We’ve put together a few helpful tips to keep it looking beautiful until the 6th January.

1.      Displaying trees in water in a traditional reservoir type stand is the most effective way of maintaining their freshness and minimizing needle dropping. To display the trees indoors, use a stand which can hold water.

2.      Use a stand that fits your tree. Avoid whittling the sides of the trunk down to fit a stand. The outer layers of wood are the most efficient in taking up water and shouldn’t be taken off if possible.

3.      Make a fresh cut to remove about a 1/2-inch thick disk of wood from the base of the trunk before putting the tree in the stand. Don't cut the trunk at an angle, or into a v-shape, as this makes it far more difficult to hold the tree in the stand. It also reduces the amount of water available to the tree. Drilling a hole in the base of the trunk does not improve water uptake.

4.      Keep trees away from major sources of heat (fireplaces, heaters, heat vents, direct sunlight). Use of lights that produce low heat, such as miniature lights, will reduce drying of the tree.

5.      Ensure there are plenty of presents underneath it to keep it company, and have a very Happy Christmas!

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Gardening in October

Scampston Walled Garden, with it's naturalistic perennial planting, is known to be a particularly late garden. The grasses in particular still look spectacular into October.

Our Head Gardener Paul Smith has a few tips for keeping things looking trim, and encouraging further growth later on. 

  1. Leave ornamental seed heads on plants such as hydrangea to give winter interest
  2. Clear fallen leaves off lawns to prevent moss build up
  3. Plant spring bulbs now ready for next year
  4. Strengthen lawns with an autumn and winter lawn feed
  5. October is a good time for planting most hardy plants including shrubs and trees. The soil is still moist which enables root development before winter

Here are a few pictures of Scampston at this time of year, and evidence that just because dark nights and cold weather are setting in, it doesn't have to be doom & gloom!