Chelsea winner heads to Beningbrough

Andy Sturgeon outside in the gardens at Beningbrough Hall

We are proud to announce that award winning landscape and garden designer Andy Sturgeon has been appointed by the National Trust to help revitalise the gardens in honour of our 300th birthday.

Celebrating 300 years of change

2016 marked the 300th anniversary of Beningbrough Hall and in celebration of this historic milestone Andy has been set the task of creating a long term plan to refresh, improve, and in some areas re-invent the seven acre garden.

Through the combined talents of Andy and our own dedicated garden team at Beningbrough, the creation of a new long term design vision will ensure it is a garden that delights and inspires visitors for many years to come.

Who is Andy Sturgeon?

Andy is one of the UK's leading landscape designers with over 30 years’ experience and a plethora of awards including seven RHS Gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show as well as the prestigious Best in Show accolade - awarded again for his show garden in 2016.

Both The Sunday Times, and House and Garden Magazine placed Andy in the top ten list of designers in Britain, positioning him at the top of his field.

He is also no stranger to reviving historic spaces, amongst his recent commissions are the spectacular 2.5 acre roof garden adorning the roof of the iconic Battersea Power Station and a temporary instalment within the medieval Piazza Vecchia in Bergamo, Italy.

Visit Andy's website to find out more.

" I am genuinely excited to be working with the National Trust and I am really looking forward to developing these already spectacular gardens over the coming years… our commission at Beningbrough recognises our passion and ability for these long term historic projects."
- Andy Sturgeon

The changing face of the gardens

The gardens at Beningbrough are no stranger to change, having been treated to redevelopment by its various masters and their differing tastes and the fashions of the time.

From the avenues of the first formalised garden on site in the seventeenth century to its deconstruction to suit the popular designs akin to those of ‘Capability’ Brown in the eighteenth century, the garden has never stood still for long.

Little detail is known about the specifics of the gardens of the past. Consequently, unlike many other National Trust properties the gardens cannot be tied to a certain era or design, allowing Andy and his team a certain amount of creative freedom to develop areas of the garden that some visitors may be less familiar with. 

The future

Throughout the design and implementation of the new vision - historic views will be maintained and improved, new planting schemes will be created and some areas will be re-invented. Whilst not all areas of the garden will be changed, Andy’s approach to the landscape will ensure that all areas of the garden are cohesive and inkeeping with everything else we have to offer at Beningbrough. 

The next part of the design will be started in the garden around autumn 2017 and further developments will be gradually phased in over the coming years. Throughout this time visitors can watch the gardens grow as we further cultivate the gardens at Beningbrough.

What might you see in the coming months?

Spring bulbs along the ha-ha walk

When you visit in spring you'll see the first planting from the vision with swathes of colours and plants selected by Andy Sturgeon to create a new ha-ha walk. Many visitors, staff and volunteers joined in the birthday celebrations in 2016 by helping to plant 300,000 bulbs to mark the 300th year of the hall. Snowdrops, crocus and daffodils now provide a wonderful start to the year in a quieter part of the garden with views over the south parkland towards the river ouse.

The pergola

Work to create the pergola is scheduled to start in autumn 2017
Artist impression of the pergola garden
Work to create the pergola is scheduled to start in autumn 2017

Visitors familiar with Beningbrough might know the area next to the restaurant entrance that has over the last few years had a lawn, border planting and various seating options. The first of the large scale projects from the long term vision will look to transform this into the pergola. This area will maximise the south facing aspect with places to sit a moment surrounded by planting, literally from all angles. Work is due to start in autumn 2017 with the garden ready for spring 2018.