The garden vision at 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.

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 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.

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.

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.

Latest posts

04 Apr 18

The Pergola takes shape

Despite the best efforts of the weather, the hard landscaping is now in place in the Pergola and standing tall against the brick wall of the restaurant. Air-dried oak beams make up the core framework with Yorkshire paving marking out the new pathway. Easter has been particularly wet in York and once the ground has dried out a little, the planting will begin. First to go in will be the shrubs including Taxus for topiary cubes and the structure of the garden will start to reveal itself. The soft planting will follow and from May, visitors can sit among the Aquilegia, Digitalis and Thalictrum to name just a few of the plants.

Large wooden pergola structure against a brick wall

01 Nov 17

Work starts on the Pergola

Work has started on the pergola. Staff and volunteers are busy lifting and potting up plants – those salvageable will get re-purposed or sold in the stables shop. Shortly we’re expecting the hard landscaping contractors to come in and make the changes to the fabrication of the area. Historically this was once used as a service area with greenhouses and a former Malmaison house, used for growing carnations. The National Trust developed the area along with several others for visitors in the 1970s; it’s identified as having lost a sense of purpose. See how the work progresses over winter and visit in spring to test out the south facing seating and calm planting palette.

A man and three women gardening

30 Sep 17

The Pergola is developed from 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.

Artist impression of the pergola garden