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New head gardener gets dug in at one of the UK’s finest gardens

Yorkshire’s famous floral landmark Newby Hall has a new head gardener, Lawrence Wright, and he has his sights set on revamping less visited parts of the historic garden to make them bloom.

A former Chartered Institute of Horticulture Young Horticulturist of the Year, Lawrence has joined from Cornwall’s Tregothnan Estate and is now in charge of Newby’s magnificent forty acres of gardens and woodland – including its flagship double herbaceous border, one of the longest in the country.

On his new ‘to do’ list is a five-year project to replace the overgrown internal garden shelterbelts at Newby that provide protection from the brutal westerly winds that gust from the neighbouring Yorkshire Dales. Most of these were planted by the late garden owner and renowned plantsman Major Edward Compton nearly 100 years ago but need replacing so future generations can continue to enjoy the garden at its best. Lawrence will be planting unusual shrubs, canopy trees and interesting groundcover to add to the garden’s rare collections and to provide a horticultural ‘wow’ for visitors.

He will also continue the restoration of Newby’s Edwardian rock garden focusing on the section closest to the River Ure with planting that can survive regular flooding.

Lawrence said: “Newby Hall is a fabulous garden rich in horticultural history. It is with great excitement that we push forward with our once-in-a-lifetime rock garden restoration and the continued development of this already fantastic garden. The work that we are undertaking now will be the legacy for the next 100 years.”

Newby’s much-loved gardens are visited by over a hundred thousand people every year and often feature on film and TV. Taking centre stage is the eye-catching 172-metre-long double border, celebrated for being the longest in a private garden in the UK, and Lawrence is now in charge of looking after its 6,500 plants, as well as those in 14 other stunning garden ‘rooms’, two heritage orchards and 30 acres of woodland.

A star of film and screen productions such as Peaky Blinders, Victoria, Gentleman Jack and the ABC Murders, Newby Hall is again hosting the popular three-day Harrogate Autumn Flower Show 16-18 September 2022.

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