Parcevall Hall Gardens

Whilst in the Yorkshire Dales recently on a family holiday, a garden visit was needed to enable us to spend some quality time together.  Further research gifted Parcevall Hall Gardens to us.  We found it listed in both the RHS partner gardens and GW 2-4-1 offer.

We were glad of the buy one get one free offer.  For an additional fee you will be provided with a well presented booklet that maps the history of the 17C farmhouse up to present day when Parcevall Hall was developed from the addition of building works in the 1920s and the 1960s.

The centre pages provide a double-page illustration of the building and garden and a prescribed walk that takes in all of the delight in the garden up to the Tarn, around to the Red Border, up to Old Camellia Walk, taking in The Chapel Garden and Rose Garden, up to the Silver Wood, back down via the Rock Garden and onto the Terraces for the spectacular views.

On the way in or out, dependant on your preference, you will find well-stocked plant sales and a very pleasant tea room with outside terrace to enjoy the obligatory home-made cake and fresh coffee which is served with a smile.  The office next door is where you receive your guide and some information about how to access the grounds.  

I love a body of water.  This Tarn is reached by walking anti-clockwise around the property following the circumference of a woodland walk.  You find yourself walking upwards over old tree-roots that creep above the ground reassuringly.  Time stands still here, the bustle of life beyond these walls becomes a distant memory as you breathe in the scent of Tarn Ghyll Wood.  It is extraordinary to think that this Tarn was empty pending restoration until as recently as 2007. 

The views out over the boundaries are beautiful.  On first glance what appears to be a grass verge is in fact a landscape jam-packed with ferns.

Looking down from below the terrace wall to the Red Borders that face each other I was interested in the plant choices, the texture, the colour pallet that is so different to my own garden.  The religious symbolism perhaps lost on me.  Through the Old Camellia Walk towards the Chapel Garden, this area and the earlier Rhododendrons give the game away as to the type of soil here. 

Yes, we walked all the way up through the Silver Wood and back down again - you need to be pretty fit for this part of your visit.  A bench at the top offers amazing views of the Troller's Gill valley.  As is normal for me I haven't photographed the view to publish here.  You will simply need to visit this site yourself! 

I'm not sure what that shrub is in the middle of the photo below.  I love the plant choices here in the Rock Garden, despite my lack of knowledge.  The Francoa sonchifolia shape and colour is repeated in the unknown shrub behind and again the bottle-brush shape is picked up in the Pinus at the back.  There is a similar performance by the pond within this part of the garden with bronze-leaved Rodgersia and Valerian working in partnership.

This large Acer griseum outside the Rock Garden takes me back to the tree research for my own garden.  I found it listed on so many websites as a recommendation for the small garden.  However, when I see this tree here towering high up into the sky with its huge canopy, I am glad that I looked into the detail of my choices beforehand. Beautiful tree though, absolutely love it - perhaps in a square-shaped garden it could work rather than our long narrow space.  Whilst not clear in the picture below the light shining through the peeling red bark could be likened to stained glass.

These terraced parts of the garden reminded me of a visit to another Arts and Crafts garden: Preen Manor in 2018, the structure bears a familiar resemblance.  

It is amazing to think that ninety years ago this area was barren and treeless.  We have a lot to thank Sir William Milner for.  His vision for this estate enhancing the curvature of the natural landscape. 

This is a garden for all seasons and one that I would very much like to revisit in Spring and in Autumn to capture how it evolves. 


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