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Record Breaking Jubilee Celebrations

Bishopthorpe Palace Jubilee Planting

Wednesday 30th May 2012

The Archbishop of York has today revealed a unique Jubilee Planting Scheme at Bishopthorpe Palace to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

The planting scheme includes a patriotic Union Jack flower bed at the front of Bishopthorpe Palace and will be on view during the Diamond Jubilee Gala and ‘Party at the Palace’ taking place on Saturday 2nd June.

As part of the Year of the Environment celebrations in 2011, the Archbishop of York invited people to view online how his Palace Gardens looked all year round.  By popular request, Garry O Reagan, the Head Gardener, has written an update on the progress of the gardens in 2012 and gives a preview of his planting display for the Diamond Jubilee.

 Garry’s update follows in full:

Record Breaking Jubilee Celebrations

Another year and yet another record broken, this time the wettest spring on record.  The dull wet start to the year has had effect on some of our trees and spring flowering shrubs causing flowers and leaf development to be slower than usual. But with the recent warm and sunny conditions the garden is starting to catch up and produce spectacular colours from the Rhododendrons and Azaleas that surround the woodland pathways, to the Wisteria and Clematis that climb the Palace walls.

Those coming to the Party at the Palace event will be enjoying The Diamond Jubilee Celebrations soon here at Bishopthorpe.  To mark the event we have decided to plant our main annual bed with a Union Jack Flag Design using red and white Begonia Semperflorens, which our resident rabbits seem to leave alone for some reason.  I am not sure how they will react to our blue Ageratum, fingers crossed they will leave that alone too!

A tree will be planted this year to mark Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee. We have chosen an Acer Drummondii, a medium height tree with a striking leaf of green with a broad cream margin which is to replace an old Box Elder which came down earlier this year.  In addition, we are thinking of going for something with a lot more longevity like a Golden Oak which we can add to our other specimen trees around the woodland.

The cut flower border will be fully planted shortly with Dahlias and the second planting of Gladioli which will provide flowers to be used in and around the Palace.  Hardy annuals such as Calendula, Larkspur, Cornflower and Candytuft are to bed out and will produce a range of hot vibrant colours and pastel shades which will not only look great but will attract bees and other insects to the garden.

The warm weather is bringing out all sorts of wildlife such as butterflies. Holly Blue, Brimstone and Speckled Wood have all been seen in recent days.

A family of foxes are about and we have seen on two occasions the cubs quite happily striding through the staff car park.

The Roe deer are also around, as we have witnessed their presence with our Marsh Marigold plants being grazed to a height which only they could have managed.

The bird activity is good with fledglings perched in trees and shrubs.  All of our nest boxes, apart from the Treecreeper and Tawny Owl boxes are in use.  We did get quite excited about the activity in and around the owl box only to find out that a family of squirrels had moved in.  A real treat in recent weeks has been the distinctive “Yaffel” of the Green Woodpecker which we have managed to catch a glimpse of.  Also, a pair of Common Buzzards which circle on thermals above us have been around for the last two months, hopefully nesting not too far away.

Whatever your plans are, enjoy the Jubilee celebrations and enjoy this cracking spell of weather.  I hope it continues to produce a summer that is good for the garden and not for breaking records!


Events at Bishopthorpe Palace

Please note that the event ‘Party at the Palace’ is sold out.  Entrance to the gala at Bishopthorpe Palace from 12 noon to 4pm is available at the gate. Entry is £2, with children under 12 years free of charge when accompanied by an adult. Profits from the evening event will be donated to St Leonard’s Hospice, the Archbishop’s Youth Trust and local charitable organisations.

Please click the photos on the right hand side of this page to view the full gallery of the Jubilee Planting Scheme in progress.

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