We are delighted to be involved with the HLF funded restoration project for the Edwardian Rock Garden at Burnby Hall Gardens, our local ‘Jewel in Yorkshire’s Crown’.
The Rock Garden was originally designed by the historic Backhouse Nursery of York, who were renowned and prolific creators of rockeries – but of whose designs few are still in existence. The Burnby Hall restoration project is a wonderful opportunity to rediscover their art.
The project will apply for the next round of HLF funding in November 2015; in the meantime, we are busy surveying the rockery and its plants, and finding out more about the Backhouses. This has involved fascinating talks with experts, including someone that grew up in and around the Backhouse family.
As you can see from this photograph of Elizabeth and Burnby Hall’s head gardener, Ian Murphy, undertaking a planting survey; the Rock Garden has become somewhat overgrown, and the rocks themselves are often lost underneath planting!
There are important decisions to be made about a strategy for the restoration; whether to attempt to retain some of the plants in situ, lift and re-plant those that we want to keep, or whether a clean sweep is needed, with appropriate species chosen, returning the Rock Garden to ‘Day 1’. Watch this space for updates!
By Amanda McDermott CMLI