A garden inspired by the Yorkshire Dales has been awarded a silver gilt medal at BBC Gardener’s World Live 2013.
The ‘Hay Time’ garden, designed and constructed by Yorkshire-based company Chris Myers Design, brings a taste of the Dales to the prestigious Birmingham gardening show, with a mini wildflower hay meadow, natural woodland, dry stone wall and iconic field barn.
The overall effect is that of a naturalistic picture postcard scene, but there is a serious message behind this tranquil garden.
The vibrant wildflower hay meadows that were the main source of inspiration for the garden are in grave danger as 97% of UK meadows have disappeared since the 1940’s, making them one of the most threatened habitats in the UK.
Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT) has been working with farmers to protect the precious few meadows remaining and restore degraded meadows in the Yorkshire Dales. So far locally-harvested wildflower seed has been added to more than 300 hectares and traditional low-intensity management has been reinstated to help bring back native wildflowers and provide a vital habitat for the many rare species of wildlife they support.
It’s an important first step, but more still needs to be done to safeguard these beautiful places for future generations. Earlier this year YDMT launched the Hay Time Appeal to raise £150,000 to fund a three-year campaign to allow this vital work to continue.
The campaign is backed by garden designer and TV presenter Chris Myers, and it is hoped that his award-winning garden creation will play a key role in raising awareness and public support for the Appeal.
Chris Myers said: “I am delighted that the judges have been impressed and inspired by the garden and its important message, and I hope that the public will be too. To receive any medal at such a prestigious event as BBC Gardeners’ World Live is a fantastic achievement and a real honour. I am particularly chuffed with our success given the fact that we managed to pull this show garden together on a shoe-string budget using donated plants and reclaimed building materials.”
YDMT’s Hay Time Project Manager, Don Gamble said: “As Chris is an ambassador of the Hay Time Appeal, it made perfect sense to work together to create this lovely garden. The silver gilt medal awarded is testament to the brilliant job Chris and his team did have done with the Hay Time garden, and we are really grateful for all of their hard work and support. The team have captured the essence of the Yorkshire Dales in this naturalistic garden, and I think it just goes to show that you don’t need to spend a fortune on exotic plants to achieve a beautiful display in your garden. A packet of native wildflower seeds can create stunning results, with the added bonus of being great for pollinators and other wildlife. I hope this garden encourages people to give wildflowers a go at home and to help us restore more meadows in the Dales.”
Anyone wishing to support the Hay Time Appeal should call YDMT on 015242 51002 or visit www.ydmt.org/haytimeappeal. Native wildflower seeds sourced sustainably from meadows in the North of England are also available from YDMT at www.ydmt.org/shop priced at £2.50 per pack including P&P.
The BBC Gardeners’ World event is taking place from 12-16 June at the Birmingham NEC.