Beautiful new garden opens in the heart of York

Ashley Dobson tends the new garden in York's Coppergate Centre. Photographs: Richard McDougall

A green oasis has sprung up in the heart of York.

The middle of the Coppergate Centre has been transformed into an award-winning garden.

Staff and students from Askham Bryan College have recreated their garden which won a gold medal at the recent Harrogate Spring Flower Show.


Entitled ‘In Sight of the Minster’, the installation is supported by Make It York, as part of its mini Bloom! Festival this summer, which will celebrate York’s rich tradition of horticulture.

The garden also complements this month’s floral-themed Brollywalk down Coppergate Walk.

Flying buttresses

Sofia Obradovic tends to the garden’s archway
The six metre square garden is inspired by architectural features of York Minster, including flying buttresses to support the trees, ‘walls’ made from yew hedging.

An arched window frame planted with strong colours to represent the vibrancy of the cathedral’s stained glass windows.

Manager of the Coppergate Centre Pippa Unwin said:

  • This is a beautiful garden, and it sits perfectly in the shadow of York St Mary’s in our central square, which itself features wonderful gothic arches and stained glass.

    The fine weather this week has enabled many visitors to watch as it took shape, and with the garden in place until the end of June, I’m sure it will delight tourists and residents alike.

At the end of June, the garden will move to its permanent home following a competition in which community groups and organisations can apply for the garden to be theirs.

Jess Herbert (front) has led the project

It’s a gold medal winner

Artificial turf will be laid in its place, as Coppergate once again prepares to host Wimbledon on a big digital screen, supported by The York BID.

Sponsorship for the garden has been generously provided by Yorganics, Marshalls, Bloom!, Jewsons, Harper Bagged Products, York BID and British Steel.

Lasting legacy

Project leader Jess Herbert with Lotte Inch the Bloom! curator for Make It York, And back from left, Ashley Dobson, Sofia Obradovic, Stuart Rodden and Pippa Unwin the Coppergate Centre Manager. Photograph: David Harrison
Jess Herbert, head of horticulture at Askham Bryan College said the competition was a great opportunity to continue the garden’s impact.

“We wanted this garden to have a lasting legacy and hope that it will inspire visitors to the Coppergate Centre for their own gardening projects and to learn more about horticulture,” she said.

Lotte Inch, who co-ordinates Bloom! on behalf of Make It York, said:

  • York visitors and residents will be able to enjoy this planting in the urban environment and we really appreciate all the hard work that the students from Askham Bryan have put into realising it.

    We’re excited to hear where this wonderful garden is going to find its forever home.