Sylvia’s Garden is a garden of formality, although the overall effect is soft and subtle due to its planting style. A quiet and peaceful place, it is the perfect setting to sit down, relax and contemplate.
This was one of the earliest compartmented gardens designed by Major Compton in 1930 and covers the same proportions as an earlier Victorian garden, which it replaced. He named it after his wife, Sylvia Farquharson (later becoming her memorial garden), and it was planted to peak in May (to coincide with York Races).
Throughout, the hard landscaping is very formal, with three distinct sunken levels paved with York stone and brick. An ancient stone Byzantine corngrinder is the ornate centrepiece. All three levels are now planted to flower all season giving extra interest, some plants placed formally such as the four Rosa ‘Ballerina’ in the lower beds and Iris flavescens on some of the main axis. The majority of the planting however is relaxed, using plants such as Paeonia lactiflora cultivars and Allium hollandicum ‘Purple Sensation’ during the early season, moving through to Gaura lindheimeri, Dahlia merckii, Delphinium cultivars, Argyranthemums and Thalictrum delavayi ‘Album’ to name a few.
The colour palette is soft with whites, pinks, purples and blues being dominant. However, to prevent the overall appearance looking too bland we have added a touch of soft yellow and magenta. The dark Yew hedge (currently being renovated) which surrounds the garden is a perfect backdrop to show off the colours.