Robin’s Walk

Gardens never stand still, and in late 2009 this area was redesigned following the deterioration of many roses through old age and disease.

Some of our visitors may remember this area as the “War of the Roses”, which contained Rosa x alba ‘Alba Maxima’ (white rose of York), Rosa gallica var. officinalis (red rose of Lancaster), and Rosa gallica ‘Versicolor’ (a mix of both colours), representing the Civil war between the houses of York and Lancaster.

The new idea was developed by the late Mr. Robin Compton, and involved planting several standard Olives (Olea europaea) with an under planting of soft yellow and blue flowering herbaceous perennials. He explained, “Now peace has broken out at Newby”.

Unfortunately the planting of the Olives coincided with one of  the coldest winters in recent years, and they quickly died. Undaunted we replaced them the following summer, only to find them hit by even colder weather the following winter. A rethink was needed, and it was agreed that the colour combination of yellow and blue perennials was strong enough to stand on its own without additional planting. To improve the feel of the area we stripped it clean once again, and decided to try a new planting style for us at Newby. Instead of our usual groups of blocks, drifts, and clumps, we decided to plant singly and randomly with a few choice plants, repeating them throughout the garden area. Plants such as Scabiosa columbaria subsp. ochroleuca, Hemerocallis ‘Hyperion’, Verbascum ‘Gainsborough’ (pale yellows), and Eryngium planum, Geranium ‘Orion’, Iris sibirica (blue) now create a soft meadow like tapestry of colour throughout the season. The whole garden buzzes with insect life, and has at last become a big success.

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