RHS Announces Winning Partner Garden of the Year 2021

Larch Cottage Nurseries voted winner in ‘Feel Good Gardens’ competition

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is delighted to announce that Larch Cottage Nurseries in Cumbria’s Eden Valley has been named the RHS Partner Garden of the Year for 2021. The win marks the first time the charity has held a competition for its network of Partner Gardens, with thousands of votes cast by RHS members and garden visitors for more than 200 gardens in the UK and overseas.

Peter and Jo Stott of Larch Cottage Nurseries received a commemorative plaque from RHS Head of Horticultural Relations Chris Moncrieff. The winning garden will also be captured in a specially-commissioned photoshoot. Reflecting on winning the inaugural competition, Peter Stott said: “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.”

Admired for its romantic Italianate aesthetic, the garden near Penrith is described as a plantsperson’s paradise, with an extensive selection of rare and specialist plants on display in the gardens and for sale from the nursery. Landscape designer Peter, who began creating his masterpiece in 1984, adds: “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 highlighted the owners’ ‘real love of horticulture’ and described Larch Cottage Nurseries as a ‘completely impressive and surprising garden’ in testimonials. One visitor summed up the winner as: "A beautiful garden made from scratch and looks more like ‘Umbria than Cumbria’."

Larch Cottage Nurseries was selected from six regional finalists after visitors chose their favourite gardens in each of six regions. The regional winners were:
  • Midlands and East Anglia: Fullers Mill, West Stow, Suffolk
  • North 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
In recognition of the huge part gardens have played throughout the pandemic in supporting people’s mental and physical health, the theme for the first competition was ‘Feel Good Gardens’. RHS Partner Garden Manager Helen Feary said: “It means a great deal to all of our RHS Partner Gardens to know that they have offered a source of happiness and a place of sanctuary for so many people over this last, difficult year. We’re delighted to be able to celebrate that through this first RHS Partner Garden of the Year competition.”

Details of the 2022 RHS Partner Garden of the Year competition and how to vote will be revealed next spring. There are currently 206 gardens in the RHS Partner Gardens scheme, which allows RHS Members to visit non-RHS gardens for free at selected times of the year. They comprise some of the most famous gardens in the world as well as privately-owned hidden gems, and beyond the UK can be found in 8 countries across the globe, including Barbados, Japan and South Africa.

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Notes to editors

For further information or images, contact Caroline Jones on [email protected].
About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society, the world’s leading gardening charity, was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood. Our vision is to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place. This aspiration underpins all that we do, from inspirational gardens and shows, through our scientific research, to our education and community programmes such as Campaign for School Gardening and Britain in Bloom. We produce key publications, hold a world-class collection of horticultural books and botanical art, and sell the very best plants and gardening gifts.

The RHS is fundraising £40m to transform our gardens, outreach and education facilities, which includes redeveloping our flagship RHS Garden Wisley and opening a new garden, RHS Garden Bridgewater, in 2021. We are solely funded by our members, visitors and supporters. For more information visit

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.