Hidden Ripon gem welcomes new patron Joanna Lumley

Head gardener Ray Abrahams gets ready for the Easter opening of the Himalayan Gardens and Sculpture Park at Grewelthorpe, near Ripon.'4th April 2016.'Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe
Head gardener Ray Abrahams gets ready for the Easter opening of the Himalayan Gardens and Sculpture Park at Grewelthorpe, near Ripon.'4th April 2016.'Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe

It is ‘absolutely fabulous’ as Joanna Lumley has been made new patron of the Himalayan Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grewelthorpe near Ripon.

The Yorkshire hidden gem has just opened for its autumn season. It was donated in 2012 to a Charitable Trust, The Hutts Foundation, by Peter and Caroline Roberts.

The charity aims to advance the arts, horticulture and the environment, including the cultivation of rare and endangered plants.

Joanna Lumley said: “I think that the Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park sounds like a slice of paradise and my Kashmiri-born heart jumps with joy to think of its existence.”

She added: “Gardens are the greatest healers on earth and, as our stressful anxious lives tie us up in knots, we may turn to the sweet silence of the great green earth for solace. Paradise is the old word for a walled garden: safe from the burning sun and whipping winds, with water flowing, shady trees and the scent of flowers. The Hutts Foundation has generously given us the key to the door; just turn that key, and find happiness and peace.”

An open-air gallery with more than 80 striking contemporary sculptures in a tranquil valley, the gardens cover 45 acres of woodlands, gardens and an arboretum, with three lakes. It hosts the North’s largest collection of rhododendrons, azaleas and magnolias, with nearly 20,000 plants.

The Himalayan Gardens was named as a 2019 Yorkshire in Bloom Champion winning the categories for Best Tourist attractions and Best Yorkshire in Bloom Business. Judges described it as, “a truly beautiful and amazing place.”

This autumn, the Gardens put a spotlight on the age-old tradition of botanical illustration. Visit www.himalayangarden.com/ for more.