I’m thinking about incorporating more Slow Living into my life, and it just got off to a good start! Afternoon tea with a friend celebrating our birthdays, and a love of gardens, and girlie chat.
We made the most of this time by visiting a garden I had only visited briefly, York Gate in Adel, Leeds.
Originally used as farm land, Frederick and Sybil Spencer bought the house in 1951, their purpose to create an Arts and Crafts style garden, with the one acre of land divided by yews and beech hedging into separate garden rooms. Over the years the family have developed the garden before the horticultural charity, Perennial took over in 1994 following Sybil’s death. Recent improvements include a lovely tearoom which serves light lunches, hot drinks and cakes as well as a rather nice gift shop with products from Garden Trading. If you are arriving by car, you park a few minutes walk away opposite the prettiest little church and then meander down the church path and along a little woodland track till you come upon the house and garden.
This is a garden of calm and relaxation.
I felt myself exhale as soon as I walked in the gate. It's a place to sit, to wander, to enjoy afternoon tea in the sunshine. And what a prettily presented cake stand of sandwiches, scones and cakes. The ladies in the café were so friendly and they kindly saved cakes for a cuppa later in the afternoon.
Although small, the garden is perfectly formed, with a glasshouse stuffed full of succulents and cacti, a herb garden, the quirkiest tool shed I've ever seen, a walled kitchen garden, several ponds and water features.
There are many places to sit and appreciate the view, I can only imagine how stunning each area is going to look as we move through the seasons. A note to myself to return before the garden closes at the end of September.
We spent several hours at York Gate, wandering, appreciating little details and of course taking many, many photographs. There is a small plant nursery where several varieties grown in the garden are offered up for sale and these change as things come in to flower throughout the year. I didn't buy anything but left with inspiration.
York Gate Gardenoffers a little bit of magic in the middle of a big city. It is a place to find calm and take away the stresses of everyday life, to embrace the seasons and the natural world.
And so to begin my Slow Living…….