Glorious Technicolor! The warm sunny days combined with the heavy rain has resulted in a beautiful display of colour all around the park against a backdrop of lush greenery of the lawns and stunning woodland.

The dawn chorus appears to be celebrating too! The swifts are returning for summer and all of our usual bird life are in full song, filling the air with their music.

This is a great time of year to go and explore some of the stunning gardens in the local area.

The nearest of course is Fountains Abbey where you can wander amongst white statues and find all the follies, stroll around mirrored moon ponds and hear the crashing cascades. Find the bluebells decorating the sidewalks and wild flowers blooming by the Banqueting House.

For inspiration for your own gardens and a thoroughly enjoyable day out take a trip to Newby Hall. Newby’s award winning gardens, mostly created in the early 1920s, have evolved over the years making a major contribution to 20th century gardening. There is so much to discover, from the stunning herbaceous borders to the curving pegola!

Another local gem is The Himalayan Garden and Sculpture Park. Only a little further on than Ripon in the pretty village of Grewelthope, you will discover these inspiring gardens.

The Himalayan Garden & Sculpture Park is an open-air gallery home to more than 80 striking contemporary sculptures, showcased in a tranquil valley setting. The park covers 45 acres of stunningly beautiful woodland, gardens and an arboretum; enhanced by 3 lakes,and a number of features including a Himalayan Shelter, Pagoda, Summerhouse, decorative Bridges and a Contemplation Circle (consisting of five chairs carved from Giant Redwood). The park is considered to have the largest collection of rhododendrons, azaleas and magnolias.

If you venture towards Harrogate, there are of course the beautiful Valley Gardens to stroll through, but the obvious destination is Harlow Carr RHS Gardens. The orchards and arboretums are filled with clouds of cherry and apple blossom showering natural confetti with each passing breeze. Elsewhere, look out for show-stopping magnolias, camellias and rhododendrons throughout the woodlands.

For more ideas of where to visit, take a look in the library or the tourist information room next door to reception. In the mean time, I hope you enjoy some of the photographs of the colours from around the park, including some of the wilder pathways and areas!