Go Here… Glorious Gardens of Devon
National Garden Scheme
Enjoy stunning private gardens from around the country thanks to the generosity of garden owners who take part in this annual scheme dating back to the early 1900s. Originally set up to support district nurses, the National Garden Scheme now supports a wide variety of charities from nursing and health at its roots, to charities doing amazing work in gardens and supporting gardening for health. Last year’s scheme alone raised £3 million!
Expect a huge range of diverse gardens; from small and perfectly formed cottage gardens showcasing imagination and creativity with limited resources, to large gardens with unique zoning, impressive horticultural features and even the chance to enjoy a bed and breakfast experience. A number of the scheme’s hospice partners open their gardens too, as well as allotments, kitchen gardens and community garden projects.
There are over 80 gardens in Devon currently set to open to the public, with a further 40 open by arrangement on pre-agreed dates with the garden owner. See which ones are opening near you at www.ngs.org.uk/find-a-garden
Hospiscare Open Gardens
Support end-of-life care in your community with a tour of Devon’s gardens opening in support of Hospiscare. Over 40 gardens opened locally last year and this year hopes to offer even more. Many gardens offer light refreshments and welcome dogs on leads. Find participating gardens across Exeter, Mid and East Devon at www.ngs.org.uk/find-a-garden
National Trust Gardens
Wander into National Trust gardens across the South West as they wake up from winter and come into full bloom. Discover daffodils in their plenty covering the lawn at Greenway – Agatha Christie’s holiday home, revel in seasonal colour in the gardens of Castle Drogo high above the Teign Gorge, or delve deeper inside the walled garden at 19th century Knighthayes and enjoy one of the most varied plant collections in the country. National Trust gardens provide a wonderful way to enjoy spring. Find out more at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lists/great-gardens-in-devon
While the Torridge Valley’s RHS Rosemoor is no doubt the South West’s star of the show, with its spectacular, varied garden areas taking you on a journey through modern and traditional planting styles and designs, the RHS partnered gardens are certainly worth visiting too for a trip closer to home. Dartmoor’s Stone Lane Gardens provide a unique woodland and water garden feel, and don’t miss East Devon’s very own secret garden at Burrow Farm. See the full list at www.rhs.org.uk/gardens/partner-gardens
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This manageable there and back route offers easy walking and wheeling along the eastern side of the reservoir and to the dams, plus additional access to the wildlife trail in the Burrator Arboretum