If you’ve never been to Helmsley Walled Garden and even if you have, June is the time to see at its extravagant best.
The garden is run as a charity created by a local woman, Alison Ticehurst, who in 1994 spotted the overgrown wilderness and endeavoured to make it into a garden of healing and therapy. With a team of helpers she succeeded in taming it and making into a garden for teaching horticultural skills. Alison died in 1999 but her legacy lives on. Today, two horticultural therapists support people to improve their mental and physical health through gardening. They support people feeling depressed, vulnerable and socially isolated. They help people suffering from the early stages of dementia, stroke and loss of sight, young people with special needs and those with mental disabilities. The entrance fee of £6 and the proceeds of the shop all go to support and fund the charity.
The Vinehouse Café is independent (no entrance fee required) but complements it, using a lot of the produce from the kitchen garden. For a number of years it was run as a vegetarian café by Monica Gripaios and, when she retired in 2014, William Mowbray, a trained chef (ex Moro) and by coincidence, Monica’s son, took it over. And we love it. Read about it here in our review section.
Helmsley Walled Garden is open everyday 1st April to 31st October 10am-5pm (last entry 4.30pm). Admission: £6.