The Auckland Project Unveils Its Redeveloped Gardens and Celebrates with New Events

The Auckland Project, founded by philanthropists Jonathan and Jane Ruffer, proudly revealed the redesigned Walled Garden on Saturday, 25th May. This significant project has been nearly a decade in the making and represents a remarkable blend of history, art, and creativity.

A Garden Reimagined by Pip Morrison

The redesigned garden is the brainchild of Pip Morrison, renowned for his work on the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, London, which surrounds the commemorative statue of Princess Diana. Morrison’s design for The Auckland Project emphasises the themes of faith, art, and creativity, creating a space that is both historically respectful and visually stunning.

The Auckland Project Walled Gardens have been a decade in the making
The Auckland Project Walled Gardens have been a decade in the making

Exploring Spaces and Connections

Pip Morrison and The Auckland Project team have meticulously explored the connections between different garden spaces, creating impressive open areas rich in colours and textures. The project encompasses several distinct areas, including the castle’s Walled Garden, Faith Garden, Broadwalk, Wilderness Garden, and a new Victorian-inspired glasshouse located in the upper half of the Walled Garden.

A Blend of History and Modern Design

Morrison commented on the project, saying: “We’ve designed a garden that responds to the history of the site as the productive garden of the Bishops of Durham but also creates something visually appealing to visitors. The project is designed to be sympathetic to Auckland Castle’s architecture and was a consideration when developing the designs, planting, and textures.”

Jane Ruffer, co-founder of The Auckland Project, added: “Auckland Castle’s Walled Garden was important as a functional and productive space, but also showcased the wealth and resources the Prince Bishops had at the time. It is part of County Durham’s history, so we’re thrilled to be opening the gardens, restoring them to their original purpose but with a modern design. We’ve enjoyed working with Pip on his masterplan and are thankful for how The Auckland Project’s gardening team have helped bring it to life.”

The Auckland Projects Parks, Gardens and Landscapes team in the new Walled Garden
The Auckland Projects Parks, Gardens and Landscapes team in the new Walled Garden

Bringing History to Life

Andy Nesbitt, head of parks, gardens, and landscapes at The Auckland Project, expressed his excitement: “From a personal perspective, I’m excited to bring our visitors even closer to the valuable work our volunteers and gardeners do. By making everything, including the glasshouse, open to visitors, we hope to encourage everyone from novice gardeners to green-fingered experts, providing advice and inspiration in an informal setting.”

The Walled Garden at Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland
The Walled Garden at Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland

Visit the Gardens

The Auckland Project’s gardens officially opened to the public on Saturday, 25th May. Visitors can access the garden with an Unlimited Pass or a general admissions ticket, which can be booked through their website. For more information about The Auckland Project, including how to buy tickets and check opening times, please visit their website.

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Courtesy of Durham Magazine – News