North Devon and Exmoor Gardens
This area is usually blessed with mild winters, enabling more delicate flowers to be grown. There is a good choice of gardens to visit, both in North Devon and Exmoor.
Arlington Court (NT)
Arlington Court is a Regency house which is ornate and full of collections. The Victorian Gardens include a large conservatory growing plants from across the globe. The gardens have herbaceous borders, annuals and azaleas, a walled kitchen garden and a lake. Don’t miss the National Trust Carriage Museum.
Broomhill Sculpture Gardens
And now for something completely different! Set in a wooded valley close to Barnstaple, these gardens have developed since the mid-1990’s to show off modern sculptures in natural settings. They are part of a 10-bedroom hotel which includes a contemporary art gallery and restaurant.
Castle Hill Gardens
Castle Hill’s landscaped gardens were created by Lord Fortescue in the 18th century. A grand Palladian house is situated within the gardens. A millennium garden, designed by Xa Tollemache, features a water sculpture by Giles Rayner with clipped Quercus ilex standards and lavender and box hedging enclosing herbaceous plants.
Clovelly Court Gardens
These recently renovated walled kitchen gardens include Victorian lean-to glasshouses, twelve-foot-high walls with fruit trees planted against them. A selection of tender fruits and vegetables as well as pelargoniums grow in the glasshouses. You can buy their organic vegetables, flowers and plants from the village tourist centre.
Docton Mill Gardens
Docton Mill Gardens are hidden in quiet lanes around Hartland. You will find a magnolia garden, herbaceous borders and wild flower-strewn woodlands to enjoy. The mill leat runs the whole length of the garden and centres on the planting. Afterwards you can enjoy a cream tea in the award-winning tearooms.
Forde Abbey Estate
Home to the highest-powered fountain in the country, the award-winning gardens include topiary lined vistas, colourful herbaceous borders, an arboretum, a bog garden, which provide all year-round interest. Designed to incorporate both the formal and informal aspects of garden design, the straight lines give way to meandering pathways.
Greencombe Gardens is the handywork of Joan Loraine. It is a 3.5 acres garden along a wooded slope overlooking the Bristol Channel. It is an organic garden using their own compost and leaf-mould. It contains the National Collections for Erythronium (small mountain lilies); Polystichum (the thumbs-up fern); Vaccinium (Wortleberries); Gaultheria (Berries for Bears).
Hartland Abbey and Gardens
Hartland Abbey is on the site of a 12th century Augustinian Abbey. It has been in the same family since it was given to the family by Henry VIII. The Abbey and gardens sit in a valley running down to the sea at Blackpool Mill. The ‘Ladies Walk’ leads to the secret walled gardens.
Hestercombe Gardens are set in 50 acres of Somerset. They include a Victorian Shrubbery, the Edwardian Formal Gardens and the Georgian Landscape Garden. Discover two lakes, the Gothic Alcove, the Temple Arbour, the Mausoleum and the Witch House. Also find the old Water Mill with its Dynamo House and Mill Room and the Great Cascade.
Marwood Hill Gardens
These gardens are about 20 minutes away and can only be reached by car. It was started by Dr Smart in 1950 and covers 20 acres with three lakes with National Collections of Astilbes, Tulbaghia and Japanese Iris. There is a charming tea rooms, making for a very pleasant days outing.
RHS Rosemoor Gardens are about a mile outside Great Torrington. You can easily spend a whole day here, visiting the original old rose gardens, the fruit and vegetable gardens, the lake and bog gardens, the arboretum and of course the tea rooms. There is an RHS shop and plant sales.
Tapeley Park Gardens
Tapeley Park Gardens is an enchanting mix of old and new gardening philosophies. It combines classic Italian sculpted gardens with sustainability, as seen in one of the oldest permaculture gardens in the UK. Visitors will discover some of North Devon’s finest garden coastal views and fare from Tapeley’s walled gardens at the Tearooms.