Insight into '˜extraordinary' man who helped create Kirdford gardens

There will be a new insight into the man who helped to design the spectacular Parsonage Farm gardens at Kirdford when they open to the public under the National Garden Scheme on April 22.

Friday, 13th April 2018, 1:52 pm
Updated Friday, 13th April 2018, 1:56 pm

Victoria Thomas and her husband David began the gardens when they bought the house 25 years ago.

Set in seven acres, there are stunning displays throughout the seasons and visitors on Sunday will be treated to a glorious spring show.

The gardens have been created with the help of the extraordinary and eccentric garden designer and landscape architect Anthony du Gard Pasley and a new book written, compiled and published by his goddaughter Emma Isles-Buck will be on sale at the open garden event at Parsonage Farm on Sunday.

“We got a bit stuck in the early days and decided we needed some designer help,” said Victoria. “When I contacted Anthony, I thought he was the sort of person I could get on with. He didn’t impose the gardens on us, his philosophy was to work with us as a consultant and he came here once or twice a year for about 15 years. Sometimes he did drawings but often it was all done through discussions. Now there are places I look at in the gardens that are pure Pasley, some are purely us, but most are a mix of us all.”

The book, entitled simply ‘Pasley’, is a collection of memories of the garden designer who died in 2009, drawn from friends, clients, former students and colleagues. A charming tribute to an ‘unusual, rather unconventional, beguiling character’, it contains many professional colour photographs, including Parsonage Farm.

Pasley was a Chelsea judge and a Chelsea winner of gold several times, as well as tutor at a number of colleges including the Inchbald School of Design and the English Gardening School.

“This small book is a tribute to an extraordinary man who delighted and inspired countless people, including me,” said Emma.

Parsonage Farm gardens will be open between 2pm and 6pm on April 22.

The book, priced at £16 (ISBN: 9 781527 211056), is available at and profits from the sales will go to Perennial, the Gardeners’ Royal Benevolent Society and The Gardens Trust.