ALAN Titchmarsh, patron of the Manor House, will be returning to Ilkley Manor House to officially opening the newly created Heritage Sensory Garden.

The Heritage Sensory Garden has been designed and planted to reflect the historic nature of the house and surrounding gardens and will provide visitors with a colourful and scented new garden space around the Manor House.

Sarah Thomas, Chair of the Ilkley Manor House Trust said: “Plants and gardens have played an important part in lives of the people who have lived and worked at the Manor House which is why we were delighted when the Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme funded this project. The creation of the garden has been made possible with the hard work of a fantastic group of volunteers, led by Sandy Macrae. We’re thrilled that our Patron, Alan, will be able to join us and open this new garden space for everyone to enjoy.”

Alan will be at the Manor House on Thursday, June 20 between 4.30-5.30pm, to officially open the garden.

The Friends of the Manor House secured a grant of £4,000 from Tesco’s Bags of Help in October 2018. Since then an enthusiastic team of volunteers have been building and planting up the garden which includes fragrant, colourful flowers and herbs as well as plants with interesting shapes and textures.

Sandy added: “The garden has been planted to reflect the history of the building as well as having a sensory impact. Plants include traditional cottage garden varieties such as delphiniums, poppies, foxgloves, hollyhocks, veronica, catmint and hyssop. There are also some well-loved herbs which historically have been used for culinary or medicinal purposes such as rosemary, lavender, oregano, various thymes and camomile. We have added a rose arch, and a wind sculpture will be in place soon.”

In addition to the official opening, the afternoon will be an opportunity to showcase some of the creative and heritage activities that the Manor House Trust has delivered during its first year and what is planned for the future. The new Solar Art Gallery will be open from 2pm to 6pm as well as a display in the house body to celebrate 50 years of twinning between Ilkley and Coutances.

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