Years before people were properly talking about mindfulness and the benefits of spending time in nature, we were celebrating the joys of slowing down and being outdoors in our Yorkshire Dales Guide to Health & Happiness.
Now it seems that Chelsea Flower Show and the gardening world are raving about the beauty of wilderness gardens and a more natural feel.
Of course, this is what we've known all along, and there are plenty of good examples in the Dales. I smiled when I saw some of the 'back to nature' Chelsea Show gardens on TV: it looked like designers, gardeners and the Duchess of Cambridge spent hours re-creating the feel of the bits of my own garden that I've not quite got round to taming... Laziness can apparently be made to look effortful and fashionable.
The Yorkshire Dales are more often associated with acres of grass and hill so you might be surprised to know just how many carefully maintained and stunning gardens there are here. The best known is on the fringes of the Dales in Harrogate: the RHS Harlow Carr, but it's some of the lesser known gardens that are the real gems. As you travel up towards the Dales, you might like to visit a very different type of garden: the breathtakingly beautiful Studley Royal Water Garden, part of the Fountains Abbey Estate and a World Heritage Site.
Parceval Hall Gardens by Trollers Gill near Appletreewick are a fine example of the Arts & Crafts movement. There's a rock garden, rhododendrons, rose garden, camellia walk and plenty of tranquil spaces in which to rest and reflect. The setting is stunning, in a secret hollow of the Dales, as if it's been carved out of the wilder neighbouring countryside.
If you like rhododendrons, don't miss the Himalayan Gardens near Masham, where countless sculptures are displayed through the garden and woodland.
Nearby is the medieval Bolton Castle where you'll find one of England's most northernly vineyards and a maze.
Another hidden retreat can be found on the main road between Leyburn and Hawes, at Aysgarth Rock Garden. It's a small compact rock garden that makes full use of every nook and cranny. When visiting White Rose Candles one day I was delighted to find the tiny little community garden in Wensley, the kind of wildlife garden that so many Chelsea Show gardeners try to emulate.
The 'Prince of Alpine Gardeners', Reginald Farrar was from Clapham in the Yorkshire Dales, and was an intriguing and eccentric plant collector. One of the stories often told about him involves him loading a shotgun with seeds from his travels and firing them into the rocks on his land at Ingleborough. You can see some of his creation along the Ingleborough Nature Trail.
Some of the most interesting and charming gardens in and around the Dales are in private or trust ownership and not often open to the public, so do take a look at the National Garden Scheme programme for openings of places like Old Sleningford, Norton Conyers, Clifton Castle, the Grange, Boxwood House, and Markenfield Hall.
Note: opening times for all the gardens mentioned above vary so please ensure you check details before planning a visit.