I’ve returned recently from a very British August summer holiday in Scarborough with the family.

Soggy fish and chips, seaside rides and variable weather – glorious!

A trip to Sewerby Park on one of the better days, however, provided some welcome surprises.

My family history is inextricably linked with Sewerby Park. A number of my ancestors held working positions – cooks, maids, gardeners – at the big house.

Anyway, the weather was decent, so we had a day trip at the park.

I was particularly taken with the borders in the walled gardens. The combination of cannas and heliotrope was a real favourite (surprise surprise). Not particularly “Yorkshire”, but cheerful and dramatic.

And look here – my old friend the Monkey Puzzle! Some fabulous old specimens – wonderful to see.

It’s interesting – and humbling, in a way – to think that a relative of mine may have been working at the house when these beasts were planted.

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