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The Terry Family (of chocolate fame) lived in a splendid Arts and Crafts style house in York. This is now the Regional Offices of the National Trust and the garden is open weekdays during office hours. ? The house and gardens are on Tadcaster Road. Approaching York from the by pass they are just past St Edward the Confessor Church. There is a right hand turn in through a splendid archway and down the drive. Both car parks were full so we parked in the overflow carpark which had a view of the race course through the trees. Entry is by knocking on the front door of the house and we were taken through the house and into the garden.

From the terrace there is a view down the lawn with its ornamental pond to the shrubberies. The website describes the gardens as “yew-hedged garden rooms, bowling green, wilderness gardens and plants for every season… An excellent example of a late Arts and Crafts garden. Formal terraces, gardens and herbaceous borders enclosed by yew hedges….” We had been expecting great things and were very disappointed. The yew hedges surrounded areas of lawn with no flowers. The bowling green and tennis court are no longer there. The shrubberies are overgrown and there were few flowers and most of those seem to be self set. The pond and and rockery at the bottom of the garden were growing wild. It wasn’t until we read the leaflet given to us we realised that the gardens are very much a ‘work in progress’. The garden has only been open since 2006 and after years of neglect is gradually being restored by a part time gardener and small group of volunteers. The basic structure of the garden is still there but there is a lot more work to do. The greenhouse has been restored and there are plans to grow their own plants but there was little sign of this being done yet. We now understand why the garden is like it is.

It is a pity the website doesn’t explain this. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-goddardsgarden

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