The garden vision at Beningbrough

Man leaning through a wooden Pergola structure to look at plants

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.

Celebrating 300 years of change

2016 marked the 300th anniversary of Beningbrough Hall and in celebration of this historic milestone Andy was set the task of creating a long term plan to refresh, improve, and in some areas re-invent the eight 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. Andy will design a show garden at Chelsea 2019.

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.

Garden masterclass

You can join Andy on a design masterclass at Beningbrough on Monday 14 October 2019. Take a look at the events page for more information and how to book.

See more about Andy Sturgeon and his work.

" 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 tender and designs were only started after a thorough conservation management plan was completed to determine different factors for consideration around the garden.


The Pergola at Beningbrough

The first new garden from Andy Sturgeon's long term vision for Beningbrough was officially opened in June 2018. Hear more about the creation of this tranquil spot from Andy and the garden team.

Latest updates


Working in the wilderness

2019 has by no means been a quiet year with the team focussing on infrastructure and smaller projects for long lasting results. Most of this can be seen in the wilderness area, around the family play ground; tree canopies have been lifted, views to the wider landscape created and self-sown saplings removed. Planting pathways have been developed providing year round interest including winter colour and scent through foliage and stems.

View through trees to the landscape and building beyond

06 Jun 18

The Pergola opens on 19 June

After the wet start to spring, planting is almost complete and the team are working on the finishing touches on the pathways. It's already looking stunning in the sunshine and visitors can take a seat and get a closer look from Tuesday 19 June. Head Gardener Sam's favourite three plants to look out for are Iris 'Sable' a black-purple scented flower, Galium odoratum a more decorative relative of cleavers and Amsonia tabernaemontana var. salicifolia to provide open clusters of star-shaped pale blue flowers over willow-like leaves.

Wooden structures from a brick wall with planting around

23 Apr 18

Planting starts under the Pergola

Since the weather has met springtime expectations, planting has started under the Pergola, bringing this sunny spot to life. The gardening team are diligently following Andy Sturgeon's master plan with its layers of planting. The topiary cubes of Taxus are positioned first and cut to shape, followed by the soft planting of Aquilegia, Digitalis, Thalictrum and most notably the Wisteria ‘Alba’. In its infancy now, the white wisteria holds all the promise for this tranquil spot in the gardens.

Planting underway in the new Pergola at Beningbrough