Inspiration

Our previous gardens

Welcome to Yorkshire have an established history of taking a slice of our glorious county to London each year for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Here are our previous gardens and the accolades we won!

See below to find out more about each garden:

2010, Rhubarb Crumble and Custard Garden, Silver medal and people’s choice award

Designed by Gillespies LLP (Simon Hall, Kate Dundas, John MacCleary & Tom Walker) 

This garden celebrates Yorkshire, inspirational local producers and makers, and every ingredient within the garden.

The garden is a quirky take on the classic dish of ‘rhubarb crumble and custard’ inspired by Yorkshire’s very own ‘Rhubarb Triangle’, a nine-square mile triangle where rhubarb is grown on a massive scale. This garden is made even more celebratory as earlier this year Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb was awarded protected name status.

The garden is relaxing, informal and charming. It uses traditional and natural materials and celebrates Yorkshire’s produce, craftsmanship and its famous landscape. It also demonstrates what can be achieved in a small courtyard garden creating a productive yet aesthetic space. This is a comfortable, ‘lived in’ garden to ‘grow your own’ and potter.

A mouth-watering bowl of rhubarb sits centre stage, with a traditional dry stone wall crumble topping, all washed down with a good serving of custard flowing through the garden. The York Stone patio with custard ring features a handcrafted oak chair, resembling a spoon, which invites you to relax and experience a taste of Yorkshire.

 

2011, Art of Yorkshire Garden, Silver medal and people’s choice award

Designed by Gillespies LLP (Kate Dundas, Tom Walker & Esther Kilner)

A garden that celebrates Yorkshire’s art and landscape through the eyes of an artist.

Visitors to the garden in 2011 saw the visual spectacle of the rolling moors which had been ‘painted’ with a glorious selection of plants.

The meandering, bubbling beck flowed from a ‘sheep creep’ in the artisan drystone wall, which was lovingly created from local York stone and reclaimed roof tiles. A window, inspired by Barbara Hepworth’s strung sculptures, sat within the wall and allowed visitors to glimpse through to the wooded backdrop.

A Barbara Hepworth piece ‘Ascending Form’ featured in the foreground of the garden, framed by a quirky i-pad inspired easel which allowed visitors to view the garden ‘through the eyes of an artist’

The i-pad inspired easel reflects the current artistic practices of David Hockney and others, who are taking landscape artwork into the 21st century. This piece may inspire visitors to use new media to capture the fantastic landscapes of Yorkshire.

 

2012, Bronte garden, Gold medal and people’s choice award

Designed by Tracy Foster

The Brontë Yorkshire Garden celebrates the rugged but beautiful Yorkshire landscape that inspired the famous Brontë family to produce renowned literary works such as Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights.

It represents one of the favourite places of Emily, Anne and Charlotte, where, it is said that they often came to sit and write their stories.

A stone clapper bridge crosses a moorland stream in a little valley strewn with rocks and the remains of a dry stone wall. The heathers and grasses of the moorland tumble over the rocky landscape, whilst under the trees and close to the margins of the stream, delicate wildflowers grow. Visitors to the garden will be able to enjoy a hint of the wild Haworth moors, and will be able to see something of the beauty that inspired such great literary works.

A few possessions left on a rock hint that the sisters are nearby, enabling visitors to imagine how they might have looked, or what they might have talked about as they developed their ideas for stories.

The planting scheme will include trees such as Betula pendula or Alnus, Heathers (Calluna vulgaris and Erica tetralix) and moorland grasses such as Molinea caerulea and Deschampsia cespitosa will provide the important texture for the garden, with the predominant colour being green.

Wild flowers such as Lychnis flos-cuculi, Hyacinthoides non scripta and primula veris will add subtle spots of colour. The colour scheme will mostly be shades of green with odd spots of colour from seasonal wild flowers.

 

2013, Le Jardin de Yorkshire, Silver Gilt medal and people’s choice award

Designed by Alistair W Baldwin

Le Jardin de Yorkshire garden was inspired by Yorkshire’s bid to host the 2014 Grand Depart of the Tour De France.

The Tour visits vast swathes of rural France every year, paying homage to its wild and varied rural landscapes. The garden replicates those iconic moments by putting Yorkshire’s rolling landscapes at the heart of Le Tour.

Wavy hedges evoke the interlocking hills of a typical Dale, where a meadow is grazed by sheep. A peloton of bikes, represented by series of silver hoops, flashes through the wild, effusive planting evocative of Yorkshire’s rural landscapes, framed by the backdrop of rolling hills.

 

2014, Tour de Yorkshire garden, Silver medal and people’s choice award

Designed by Alistair W Baldwin

The garden is a representation of the rural and urban landscapes through which the Tour de France Grand Départ 2014 passed through.

The 'rural' side displasy plants evocative of the North York Moors. The steps into the garden are formed by ‘boulders’.

A stainless steel elliptical dish of water is the main feature of the 'urban' part of the garden; the water in the dish is died black and features a void in the surface of the water.

The rear wall of the garden is made from recycled cycle wheels, sourced form recycling centres in Yorkshire.

 

2015, Brewers Yard Garden, Silver medal

Designed by Lee Bestall

Brewers Yard is a celebration of Yorkshire’s breweries and the county’s stunning ale offering. An illustration of the fusion between a recently refurbished historical Yorkshire brewing shed and fundamentals of a modern micro-brewery, the garden interprets and shares the story of the elements of the micro-brewing process, both then and now.

Traditional thatched roof

The traditional thatched roof is created with straw and barley – barley being a key ingredient in the brewing process.

Fermentation tanks

Fermentation tanks formed with Cylindrical Taxus provide three dimensional interest.

Planting

A multi stemmed Acer campestre provides an element of shade to the garden. Soft grasses and wild flowers contrast with tightly clipped Buxus spheres, representing the precise science of modern micro brewing. Planting is reminiscent of a late spring/early summer garden in Yorkshire.

Water feature

A modern water feature is inspired by the brewing process, from bore hole to traditional 'Yorkshire Square', and finally to tap. The feature uses a combination of traditional materials and techniques with stylised design.

Outhouse

The garden is perceived to be the yard of a rural traditional public house, where brewing may once have taken place. Yorkshire is proud to be home to over 200+ micro-breweries.

 

2016, Gods Own County, Silver medal and People Choice award (first show garden) 

Designed by Matthew Wilson

York Minster's great East Window has inspired the design of our 2016 garden.

The garden highlights the beauty of the largest single expanse of medieval stained glass in the UK, via planting and landscaping which has been designed to reflect the wider Yorkshire landscape as well as the Minster itself.

The planting reflects the shapes and colours of the medieval stained glass, while the furniture of a cathedral - benches, pews and ornamental tombs - are to be represented by timber seats and blocks of yew and stone.

Stone gargoyles and monoliths will be loaned by historic sites across Yorkshire, whilst York Glaziers Trust themselves are creating our stunning window, with hand blown glass from the supplier used by the Minster.

 

2017, Welcome to Yorkshire, Silver Medal 

Designed by Tracy Foster

Our 2017 RHS Chelsea garden, named Welcome to Yorkshire, was inspired by the spectacular scenery of the Yorkshire coastline. It showcases the key elements of the county’s beauty with cliffs, a ruined abbey, a pebble beach, and the sea - complete with a fishing boat and lobster pots.

For the second year in a row Welcome to Yorkshire had one of the biggest show gardens at the RHS Chelsea, and every inch of it is authentically Yorkshire. The stone used to build the ruin is sourced from a Yorkshire quarry, and the cliffs are created from material with the same geological composition as Flamborough Head. The plants, flowers and herbs in the garden are native to Yorkshire’s coastal area.

The garden was the creative vision of multi-award winning designer Tracy Foster who was born in Sheffield and now runs a design business from her home in Leeds. For our eighth RHS Chelsea garden, Tracy has taken inspiration from the freshness and wildness of Flamborough and the drama of Yorkshire’s historic castles and abbeys.