Students explore lovely lilies

The students from the University of York who reported on the water lilies at Burnby Hall.
The students from the University of York who reported on the water lilies at Burnby Hall.

A team of students from the University of York recently visited Burnby Hall Gardens to report on the beautiful hardy water lily collection. This is their report:

Pocklington’s Burnby Hall is home to one of only two National Collections of hardy water lilies in the UK, with more than a hundred varieties of these captivating flowers attracting visitors.

Hardy water lilies at Burnby Hall Gardens.

Hardy water lilies at Burnby Hall Gardens.

With the first blooms appearing in mid-June, the lilies can be seen until the end of August.

Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, these lilies are to be preserved and enhanced for future generations to enjoy.

The lakes at Burnby Hall were constructed in the early 1900s by Major Percy Stewart, the owner of the house.

It wasn’t until over 30 years later that hardy water lilies were introduced to the Gardens by Percy’s wife Katherine, who was inspired by her love of flowers.

The couple devoted their lives to creating gardens of outstanding beauty at Burnby Hall and, to this day, the lilies are the crowning jewel of Burnby Hall and reminds visitors of a bygone era.

Estate Manager Ian Murphy describe the lilies in full bloom as “a sight to behold”.

Out of over one hundred varieties of lilies, Ian Murphy’s favourite bloom is the enchanting Odorata Juliana, which has a beautiful citrus aroma. However, with so many beautiful flowers to enjoy, it can be hard to pick just one favourite.

The gardeners “strive for horticultural excellence”, a mission that has been recognised by the Royal Horticultural Society, with the lakes being described as the best natural setting for these plants in Europe.

From the warm days of mid-June, when the water lilies first come into bloom, to sunny late summer when the lake is full of blooms, there is so much for everyone to enjoy and so much to see. A day at the Gardens is the perfect way to spend a summer’s day with the ones you love.

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