The Royal Horticultural Society has named Larch Cottage Nurseries in Cumbria’s Eden Valley as RHS Partner Garden of the year for 2021.

This is the first time the charity has held a competition for its network of Partner Gardens. Thousands of votes were cast by RHS members and garden visitors, eventually naming Larch Cottage Nurseries as the winner.

Peter and Jo Scott of Larch Cottage Nurseries were gifted a commemorative plaque from RHS. The winning garden will also be captured in a commissioned photoshoot.

Peter Stott said of the win: “To have a dream and follow it has resulted in what Larch Cottage has become.

“I am very grateful to all those around us who have helped to realise the garden and its setting. In the winning of this award we owe so much to those who have taken the trouble to vote for us. To be an RHS Partner Garden amongst many other prestigious gardens always felt an achievement and to win this accolade is more than we could ever have dreamt of.”

Larch Cottage Nurseries is famed for its “Italianate aesthetic” and is described as a “plantperson’s paradise”, boasting a wide selection of rare and specialist plants on display.

Peter began creating the gardens in 1984, a landscape designer himself.

He added: “The chapel we built for our wedding is one of the main highlights of the garden. The gardens have been built around my eclectic sense of art, architecture and plants.”

Voters note the owners “real love of horticulture”, describing Larch Cottage Nurseries as a “completely impressive and surprising garden”.

One visitor even said of the garden: “A beautiful garden made from scratch and looks more like ‘Umbria than Cumbria’”.

Larch Cottage Nurseries was selected from six regional finalists. The regional winners were:

  • Midlands and East Anglia: Fullers Mill, West Stow, Suffolk
  • North England and Northern Ireland: Larch Cottage Nurseries, Melkinthorpe, Cumbria
  • Overseas: Arborerum Kalmthout, Kalmthout, Belgium
  • Scotland: Attadale Gardens, Wester Ross, Scotland
  • South-East and Channel Islands: Denmans, Fontwell, West Sussex
  • South West and Wales: Hidden Valley Gardens, Treesmill, Cornwall