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Tulip Festival: Burnby Hall Gardens


Burnby Hall is near Pocklington E. Yorks and has a national collection of waterlilies but at this time of year very few lilies are doing much. There are several areas of different planting themes and some are under review and renovation.
A general view.

Lots of good specimen trees are in the mature grounds too.

A large red leafed form of Acer.

Acer grisum near the lake, which has large carp and lots of them.

Then this that I’d never had said was an Acer but it is Acer hersii.

For several years they have done a tulip festival and last year due to lock down they cut the tulips and they went as free bunches of flowers at the local food bank. Isn’t that a lovely gesture?

This year I went with a friend and it was great to see so many tulips either in pots, vases or beds but each group had the name clearly written. Now this was brilliant as it means I can order the ones I liked for next year.
Just a few photos, though there were many more I could have taken photos of.

Couleur Cardinal

Pretty Princess

Hong Kong



Tulips were also in beds to give you ideas of how to grow them.

Fire King

Prinz Armin

Towards the back of the gardens is a maturing stumpery and there are stands of F. imperialis but they had gone over. The bluebells were just showing colour.

They also have an impressive rockery which dates back to the early 20th century designed and built by the Backhouse family of York. The Backhouses were daffodil breeders par excellence.

Several years ago it was dug out as it had lots of pernicious weeds. It was left barren and has now been replanted. It looks wonderful and in the next few years it will develop and ‘come into its own’.
At this point in my visit my camera batteries go flat!.

If you get a chance to visit these gardens at any time there is always something to see. There is a lovely café too. Lots of volunteers work there and there is a museum about Mr Stuart who used to own it.

I was dismayed to see a Tripadvisor review from April that said the lake was smelly. Clearly not the case and I just don’t understand how people can be so unpleasant. But its all pretty anonymous.
Luckily most reviews are very good.

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Wow!!! Fantastic pics, Eileen! Burnby Hall is definitely on my list now! Saying that, I should get a move on! I’m guessing I can go during the summer when it’s full summer blooms too? I’m loving the tulips ‘couleur cardinal’ - although they are all very striking in colour! The gesture made in lockdown last year is a real true gift! How wonderful for the people who received the tulips.
I agree, people just have to moan about something on Trip Advisor! It’s sadly some sort of enjoyment they seem to get...fortunately, most people aren’t like this!

8 May, 2021


What a super looking garden, love the choice of Tulips you have shown (except Louvre) so well displayed. I like the coordinated bed of Wallflowers? and Fire King, inspired.

8 May, 2021


They had Fire King with yellow wallflowers and also with reddish bronze ones. Wallflowers seem to be making a comeback. I think they beautiful.

It is worth going at any time, summer for the water lilies is a must. There are perennial plantings for all year round interest as well as summer bedding displays.

I liked the colour of Louvre but not the fringing. Each to their own though.

8 May, 2021


Thanks for showing this. Hopefully we shall get to York later in the year and will be able to visit. We've been to Pocklington once and thought it charming. This is a wonderful selection of tulips. I'm in a minority but I like 'Louvre'!! And 'Hong Kong'. Well, all of them, really....

8 May, 2021


Lovely display! They must be so relieved that people are allowed in to see them. It was a wonderful idea to send them to a food bank last year! Glad you managed to see them this year.

Eileen have you seen Sarah Ravens catalogue? They had a huge and wonderful selection this season, (afraid I went a bit mad with it) and the really useful thing is that is marks P on those that are known to be reliably perennial.

8 May, 2021


Oh I hope you get to York, its a wonderful city and the gardens will still have lots of interest later in the year Ange. I plan to visit every season at least once. I may become one of the Friends of the garden as the funds will go towards paying for further development.

Thanks Khlanie pleased you enjoyed it.

I find fashion in plants 'amusing', heathers are making a come back as are roses. Remember the 70's when you were encouraged to rip them all out?
Guess prairie planting was the latest fashion to come forward in the last decade Meadow.

I have drooled over her catalogues many times but resisted. I am seriously tempted though Yorks.

8 May, 2021


I have loved your blog and Photo's ,Eileenwhich I have ,added to' favourites,'so I can look at all those wonderful tulips, which I would have forgotten the names of otherwise.
We have been to York many times,and as Pocklington is so near, it would be an ideal place to visit .
I still love Wallflowers,and take cuttings of mine every year,which it seems ,will be an ideal companion with the 'Fire king' Tulips,as they are shades of Red/Bronze /golds..
Thank you for taking us on a lovely walk today. :o)

8 May, 2021


Thank so much for showing us the wonderful display of Tulips! I love them but haven't got any on the balcony this year.

Our local council has been planting out many 100s of a dwarf yellow Wallflowers that has flowers when they are planted out & flower continuously all winter & are at their very best now! I'd like to get some seeds but when I looked at some plants last year I couldn't find any! 😞

10 May, 2021


Lovely blog & I like all the tulips. I think it must be a fab place to visit. The 1st photo of the gardens is lovely & so is that Acer. I went to Spalding, Lincs. once for their tulip festival,but I don't know if I shall ever make it to Burnby Hall, so thank you for sharing your visit with us.

11 May, 2021


During the winter and summer bodies of water become stratified with thermal layers. The anaerobic bacteria in the bottom muck give off hydrogen sulfide gas which has the characteristic rotten egg smell. This gas remains in the bottom thermal layer until the heavy winds of late winter early spring break up the pond and lakes thermal layers- stirring things up causing a circular current from top to bottom. These winds enable nutrients and gasses to commence distributing evenly throughout the water which together with rising temperatures invigorates aquatic life. This whole process is known as “spring turnover”. Later in the year the winds of fall cause the same process and this is known as “fall turnover”. It was the released hydrogen sulfide that the people who critiqued in trip adviser were smelling. By the time you got there it had mostly been brought to the top and released so your noses weren’t offended. In Venice I would smell the same odor at low tide in the canals when this gas would be released until the return of high tide-though water height fluctuations were the driving force of this process.

13 May, 2021


That is true Loosestrife except there have been blustery winds for weeks and several people added reviews saying they had been there on the same day and it was just not true. There was only this one bad review.

13 May, 2021

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