I have recently been to visit two other gardens as research for the redevelopment of the Walled Garden at Bishop Burton College, both very different. The first was Scampston, which has recently been redesigned by the renowned Landscape Architect Piet Oultdorf. The second was Grimsthorpe Castle, where there is a huge walled garden undergoing redevelopment.

Scampston is well worth a visit. The garden, like ours, is compartmentalised but there are few other similarities. Visiting in winter gave me the opportunity to see the structure and design of the garden in a way that will not be obvious in high summer when the plants are looking at their best. The thing that struck me most about the garden was the views through it. Although there are various sections, one can always see another area, making one want to explore. It is a garden which invites the visitor, actively encouraging exploration.

Grimsthorpe Castle has a completely different feel. The Walled Garden is more like a field with a wall round it, and there are several structures within it, including what will become the current Head Gardener's retirement home and greenhouses ranging through beautifully restored to half reconstructed and dilapidated. You walk across the orchard across open fields, past the newly planted labyrinth and down to the nursery area. It does not feel like a walled garden at all; there is almost too much space. However nearer the Castle there are other smaller gardens, mostly enclosed by yew hedging. There are beautifully trimmed quince trees, a topiary garden, herbaceous borders, a vegetable garden and lots of nooks and crannies.

What is interesting here is the use of space. We don't want to feel too enclosed, it's claustrophobic, but neither do we want to have a space that is not too exposed. We want to explore, but we want to know what is up ahead without losing our sense of being protected. These gardens used this in a delightful and imaginative way. There was a real feeling of discovery as one went through archways of yew, even though one could always tantalisingly see just ahead.

There is also the overall integrity of the garden to consider. There should be a sense of identity in each of the areas, but there also needs to be a sense of connectedness. Each ‘room' in the garden should lead one naturally into the next. Otherwise it is like the Queen's Folly Cottage at Kew Gardens where it is impossible to go from one upstairs room to the other without going downstairs and round the outside and up the stairs on the other side. The visitor will not explore each separate area if there is only a way in rather than a way through, they will just peer inside.

For a good garden design to exhibit this is very difficult, and often these things evolve over many years. Walled Gardens were originally designed to help protect what was inside, providing a microclimate, but frequently they were subdivided into separate areas. The tradition is not new, but it is evolving. Whereas in the past they were places mainly for growing edible or medicinal plants, now we can use them in a variety of ways. At Bishop Burton College I have the opportunity to create a garden that will provide education and at the same time be a place for people to explore and enjoy. I have tried to encompass a lot of these thoughts into the revised design of Bishop Burton College Walled Garden and I hope I will be able to achieve it over the next two years. This is an exciting project and I hope villagers will come and visit as work progresses.

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