The Welcome to Yorkshire garden, inspired by the iconic Yorkshire Dales, won the highest honour of gold, Best Construction Award and the coveted People’s Choice Award back in 2018 at the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show...AND it’s only just gone and been given the blooming amazing accolade of the Garden of the Decade.
With the Chelsea Flower Show not happening this year, as a result of the coronavirus crisis, a virtual retrospective online and on TV celebrated the show’s greatest garden designs and masterpieces from years past.
The Welcome to Yorkshire 2018 cultivated creation, complete with cowpat and vegetable patch, received the most public votes and was the garden to come out on top as the BBC RHS People’s Choice Award favourite from the last decade, as announced on the RHS Chelsea Flower Show programme on BBC One.
Lovingly created by proud Yorkshireman Mark Gregory, the multi-award-winning garden marked Mark’s 30th consecutive year at the world-renowned show in 2018 and what a fitting tribute to a top class designer as this year would have been his 100th garden at RHS Chelsea, if the coronavirus crisis hadn’t hit hard.
“What an honour it is to be awarded BBC RHS People’s Choice Garden of the Decade” beamed garden designer, Mark Gregory MD of Landform Consultants. “I’ve built and designed gardens at Chelsea every year since 1988, which adds up to more than 3 years of my life! Not being there this year has been more than a little surreal but to win Garden of the Decade means the world. Chelsea is always a team effort and this award is for everyone involved, I’m so proud to have been a part of it and I hope this garden and the 2019 Welcome to Yorkshire garden will inspire people to visit the home county of which I’m so proud.”
Ten gardens over ten years were shortlisted for the public to vote for their favourite and three of the gardens were Welcome to Yorkshire gardens. Created for the county by brilliant designers, two by overall winner Yorkshire’s Mark Gregory (2018 Dales and 2019 heritage and canal inspired) and in 2016 Matthew Wilson’s impressive rural reflection of York Minster’s expansive East Window.
But back to the most desired of the decade, a Wensleydale wonder, the delightful design evoked a truly stunning Yorkshire landscape, with drystone walls, flowerfilled meadows, a fast-flowing stream and tumbling beck. Centre stage was a picturesque and authentic stone bothy with a beautiful cottage garden filled with flowers and veg.
“It is some achievement to win the BBC RHS People’s Choice Award from the last decade for the Yorkshire garden, especially considering the high calibre of competition”, enthused James Mason, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire. “Hopefully this will be a reminder of what a picturesque part of Yorkshire Wensleydale really is. I’m really pleased for the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, the Wensleydale Creamery and all the businesses in the Yorkshire Dales who showed great support for the garden and their continued love of such a spectacular part of the world, which once again deserves to be showcased far and wide.”
Mark Gregory is one of the most talented garden designers in the world and it’s incredibly fortunate that he just happens to be a Yorkshireman too, who had two gardens in the top ten and the overall winner. The Welcome to Yorkshire team have always loved showcasing the county at Chelsea to visitors from across the globe, who every year make a beeline to see a little piece of Yorkshire in London.
“We were delighted to support the stunning Welcome to Yorkshire RHS Chelsea Garden back in 2018, and thrilled that Wensleydale was the inspiration for the BBC RHS People’s Choice Award from the Last Decade,” enthused Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority Chairman, Carl Lis.
Jubilant garden designer, Mark Gregory, was born and bred in West Cowick, East Yorkshire and has been at the forefront of the horticultural and landscaping industry for more than 35 years. After studying at Askham Bryan College and training at RHS Garden Wisley, Mark set up Landform Consultants in April 1988 and started work on his first Chelsea show garden two weeks later. An RHS Chelsea Flower Show stalwart, 2019 saw proud Yorkshireman Mark work on his 99th garden in his 31st consecutive year at the show and this year would have been his 100th. The gardening guru has personally designed five show gardens, the last four of which were all awarded gold medals at Chelsea.
Mark Gregory impressively winning the BBC RHS People’s Choice Award Garden of the Decade with the Welcome to Yorkshire garden, will further inspire visitors to experience and explore for real, this picture-postcard part of the Dales (but for now following Government guidelines considering COVID-19). Discover Wensleydale for yourself when it is safe to do so.
This article was originally written for This Is Y magazine digital edition – June 2020. To view the full magazine, click here.