The story behind Breezy Knees Gardens

The story behind Breezy Knees Gardens


Posted 1st Jun 2018


If you visited this field in 1998, you would have seen a bleak area of grass that stretched for miles across the horizon towards York

You wouldn't have guessed that 20 years later, an unassuming Yorkshire couple would have managed to single-handedly transform what had been an unforgiving landscape into one of Yorkshire's most idyllic flower gardens.

The magical garden near York provides visitors with a range of magnificent and vibrant borders, sparkling fountains, a beautiful lake, immaculate lawns, trees, shrubs, amazing garden designs, along with more than 6,000 different varieties of flowers, trees and plants.

The planted garden stretches for over 20 acres (the equivalent of around 13 football pitches), with wide, easy pathways.

Former Pharmacist Colin Parker and his wife Marylen have successfully created the breathtakingly-beautiful Breezy Knees Gardens at Warthill, near York. It was named thus as 20 years ago, there had been no trees or hedges in the location, and when working on the land in the middle of winter seemed particularly apt.

Visitors don't need to worry, as gardens are beautifully sheltered by glorious trees and shrubs, yet the name has stuck.

Colin said: "People are often put off by over-complicated advice from so-called garden experts, but all it takes is enthusiasm and a willingness to experiment. Don’t be afraid of failure. If a plant doesn’t thrive where you’ve planted it, then just plant something else. If a design isn’t quite right, take another approach."

Marylen agrees and says: "Nothing stands still here. Every year we continue to add new plants, re-design borders and improve existing ones.  Recently we’ve planted out Euphorbia and Achillea Rivers which are proving popular and are getting many complimentary comments.  A visitor from Blackpool has just called us to see when our Peonies will be out as she enjoyed the display so much when she visited previously and wants to see them again.  It’s lovely to hear how much enjoyment our gardens give to people!"

Parts of the project include Stone Hedge - a Hornbeam version of the Neolithic prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, with two enormous Wellington boots overlooking the Rose Garden, offering amusement and chances for picture opportunities.





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