UK: Yorkshire's hidden horticultural gem growing exotic plants for 230 years

In 1777 after a daring theft in which 10 of his prized pineapple crop was stolen, Richard Taylor, gardener to Viscount Irwin, reputedly offered a 10 guineas reward for information leading to the perpetrator.

The Taylor family, who lived in quarters in nearby Colton village, were head gardeners at the estate for generations and trained many young horticulturalists who graduated to work at other estates around the UK.

Today, the estate’s modern-day cohort of gardeners’ duties include conserving a number of national collections of plants, including delphiniums, chrysanthemums, and the lesser-known coleus, grown for their colorful patterned leaves, and have even developed around 20 new varieties including one called “Temple Newsam.”

Mark Darwell, Leeds Council’s estate officer, said: “It’s incredible to think you’re looking after plants in the very same place they’ve been so carefully nurtured for hundreds of years. You can definitely feel that weight of history and the watchful eyes of the generations of expert gardeners who’ve gone before you while you work too.


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