A COUPLE who co-created ‘one of the largest flower gardens in the North of England’ from bare fields near York are celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Breezy Knees Gardens in Warthill was the brainchild of Colin Parker and wife Marylen.

Colin said: “We bought this as a parcel of agricultural land and you could see straight across to York Minster, five-and-a-half miles away.

“We just liked gardening, we wanted to start a garden up and it developed from there.”

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There are now over 7,000 different varieties of plants to discover over the 25 acre site, along with a nursery and café.

To celebrate their special anniversary, there are various events throughout, including a ‘before-and-after’ exhibition, a competition during the opening week, along with creator-led walks of the gardens.York Press: Two open-air theatrical performances are one part of the 25th anniversary celebrationsTwo open-air theatrical performances are one part of the 25th anniversary celebrations (Image: Supplied)

It will also host two open-air theatre performances in June and July with tickets up for grabs in competitions announced in the lead up the shows.

Performances come from Chapterhouse Theatre Company, who are also celebrated the quarter-of-a-century milestone this year.

The creators of Breezy Knees Gardens, who live in Tadcaster, ran a pharmacy in Huntington began the project in 1999 and Colin said the first eight years were spent planting borders and hedging to bring structure and shelter to the exposed site.

Colin said: “It’s nice to look at a sapling that you planted which now stands at 60 feet high.

“It’s only really in the last seven years we’ve really started to get to the point of maturing but we’re still adding new plantings.”

In the face of a cruel winter in 2010, temperatures got down to minus 19 degrees Celsius and killed off some of the garden's trees and shrubs which usually grow in this part of North Yorkshire.

Colin said they learned from that and didn’t replace with the same species, turning to a particular botanical classification on occasion.

He said: “I love anything called Sibirica – if they can grow in Siberia they’ll be fine here.”

Find out more about the plans for the anniversary and opening times at https://www.breezyknees.co.uk/