Yorkshire Garden Trip: Low Hall Garden

Since it’s the weekend, let’s do some armchair garden travel and return to an English summer in Yorkshire, UK. Grab yourself a cup of something warm or frizzante and follow me.

Layanee DeMerchant took this photo of me in Pamela's garden. I think it's fun!
Layanee DeMerchant took this photo of me in Pamela’s garden. I think it’s fun!

We went to Yorkshire at the end of June. It was a good time to go although they were in the beginning of a bad drought.

As always, click on the gallery photos to see them in a larger format and read the captions.

We’re off the bus, and we’re strolling across a gravel walk toward my favorite garden on this trip at Low Hall. Low Hall is the childhood home of Pamela Holliday, who created the garden from scratch. And, what a garden it is!

We saw so many wonderful gardens–about three a day–when we were in Yorkshire you would think it hard to pick a favorite right? Well, it was, but I felt a special affinity for Pamela’s garden. Not only because it was full of roses, but also, because Pamela was suffering from a bad hip and yet, she was still able to work in the garden tweaking it here and there. I saw where she’d newly planted pansies in the main walkway before our arrival. It touched me.

As I wrote above, Low Hall was Pamela’s childhood home, and when she returned in the late 1980s, her mother’s 1921 garden was unrecognizable. Sadly, my friends, our gardens don’t stay intact very long once we are gone. Undeterred, Pamela bulldozed the entire thing and started anew in 1990. What you see here has grown over the last twenty-eight years.

If I remember right, Pamela is eighty-eight years young so she would have been sixty. You’re never too old or young to start a garden my dears. Ask Pamela.

Pamela Holliday greeting us in her garden. Photo by Layanee DeMerchant.
Pamela Holliday greeting us in her garden. Photo by Layanee DeMerchant.

One of the stunning features of the back garden was an allée her friends made for her on her 80th birthday. Layanee DeMerchant of Ledge and Gardens, who helped organize this tour, is quite tall, and she noted the allée was rather short. Pamela isn’t all that tall. I’m not either, about 5’5″ so I didn’t notice until Layanee pointed it out to me.

So, my garden and Pamela’s are of a similar age. I started mine in 1989. In a letter she wrote to Layanee, Pamela said she was inspired by the gardens at Newby Hall which I wrote about in a previous post. You can see Newby Hall’s influence in some of her herbaceous borders and the long view toward the house with this fabulous urn as a focal point. I loved that urn! You can tell how much by how many photos I took of it at various angles.

As at the other gardens we visited on the National Garden Scheme, we were invited inside for refreshments. Pamela’s friend served elderberry cordial with frizzante water. Why don’t we do something similar in the U.S.? We could donate all of the proceeds to charity too, and it would be so nice. I know the Oklahoma Horticultural Society does a tour almost every year, and the proceeds go to horticulture students. It’s all so charming. When people come to my garden on tour, I always serve refreshments including cold drinks. It’s hot in Oklahoma so you simply must. I think, next time, I’ll serve elderberry cordial and fizzy water, or maybe elderberry wine.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this little respite in your day. Happy Saturday everyone! Make it a good one.



  1. Ollie Oakley says:

    That’s indeed a lovely garden. This just goes to show that age is just a number when it comes to gardening. Kudos to Pamela for doing such an excellent job!

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Oh, Ollie, you would have loved her too. She was so charming.

  2. Karen says:

    I agree in the US we don’t share our backyard gardens as much as we should. Next year I am going to invite my neighbors into my backyard when my iris path is in bloom!

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Karen, I think I’ll try to share my garden more next summer too. I hope you do too. I think you and your neighbors will have a grand time.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Kathy, it was, wasn’t it? I guess being in the time before central heating and kitchens, they needed them quite large.

  3. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    What a delightful garden. It sounds like you all had a great trip. I love the urn too. It makes such a statement. The arbor made for Pamela certainly makes a statement too…she is well loved as is her garden.

    1. Dee Nash says:

      It’s good to be well loved isn’t Lisa? I loved her garden so much, and she was delightful.

  4. Carol says:

    Thanks for taking us along on your tour of this garden. It sounds wonderful and insightful!

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Carol, you need to come with us next time.

  5. Layanee says:

    I also adore that urn and that spectacular view. Pamela was a delight and I feel fortunate to have met her and toured her garden with you!

    1. Dee Nash says:

      Layanee, it was such a great trip! Where shall we go next???

      1. Layanee says:

        Perhaps to the Hampton Court Flower Show and then East Anglia. What do you think?

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