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A Cottage Garden in Yorkshire

A quintessential country cottage garden in the picturesque hamlet of Countersett in North Yorkshire, UK


GAP Photos/Ellen Rooney

Feature No:   4982 

Qty of Images:    59 


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The White House is a quintessential Yorkshire cottage garden filled with colourful herbaceous perennials surrounding a characterful old stone house built in 1683, stone walls, stone barns, a wild flower filled hay meadow and views of the dales. Francesca and Tim Tonkin live in Leeds and bought the grade 2 listed house in Countersett as a family holiday home in 1995. ‘They were initially attracted to the picturesque hamlet in North Yorkshire when visiting the Quaker meeting house with Francesca’s mother who was a Quaker. There has been an active Quaker presence in the village since the 1650s’ When Tim and Francesca bought the house, it needed a lot of work and the garden was totally neglected. They spent the first few years removing weeds and stones of all sizes. What are now plant filled herbaceous borders along the side of the front steps had been a midden so before planting anything they had to dig up all sorts debris including clay pipes, bottles and bits of pottery. Francesca wanted a cottage garden that would complement the house and fit into the surrounding landscape. They hired a local builder who built the stone walls, paved terraces and created the flower borders in front of the house. The roses were the first plants added from David Austin roses and most of the other plants came as cuttings, divisions and seeds from friends and their garden in Leeds. The garden is constantly evolving and the Tonkins are very aware of the loss of biodiversity so they've planted a small wood and orchard behind the house and are focusing on pollinators. Their driveway is becoming a natural gravel garden with self seeded wild flowers.



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