RHS Rosemoor, a garden in winter

I’ve been to one of my favourite gardens today, looked after by the Royal Horticultural Society, Rosemoor is near Great Torrington and an hour from home. It’s a garden for all seasons and perhaps best known for its midsummer display of roses. Much as I love roses, it can be a bit busy there for me then and the rose garden is more formal than I like a garden to be.

At this time of the year its heaven, full of the earliest of spring flowers and shrubs and the trees look stunning in their nakedness. There is fragrance everywhere, most noticeably from Daphne, Viburnum and Box with the occasional waft of Eucalyptus. The most common snowdrops are coming to the end of their season but they have many varieties still looking fresh, crocuses are abundant, and the dwarf narcissi and hellebore are exquisite.

Rosemoor is divided into several sections, a winter garden, herbaceous, woodland, exotic and the original garden created by Lady Anne Palmer who gifted the 65 acres to the RHS. To reach Lady Anne’s garden you walk through a tunnel under the road towards the house which is surrounded by a more relaxed style of planting with Mediterranean area and the stone garden.

A very well planned vegetable garden produces an abundance of fresh food for the restaurant as well as seed for research. Right now the espaliered fruit trees are still dormant, but this really shows the skill involved in maintaining them. Strings of last season’s onions hang in a thatched summerhouse along with pumpkins, gourds and dried peppers and everywhere you walk there is an orchestra of birdsong.

Modern water features and ponds can be seen in the formal areas and there is a large lake stocked with Rudd and visited by ducks, and amphibians. The area around the lake has been refurbished since I was last there, smartened up and I prefer it as it was, but no doubt health and safety had to be considered, so it now has an improved path to the edge and a wooden bridge that I do like.

The icing on the cake today was a sculpture exhibition, a wonderful selection of art scattered throughout the garden, and great fun to turn a corner and find the next piece. It was all for sale and for those with a few thousand ponds to spare there were some very desirable things to choose from, my favourite was called ‘Refuge’ and of course was way beyond my reach.


I spent five hours happily wandering, it’s a very peaceful way to spend a day especially as the sun came out after lunch. Perhaps I will go back when the roses bloom or maybe when the vegetable garden reaches its zenith in August, whenever it will always be a delight!

I think I have created a pdf thingy of some of the Rosemoor sculpture photos I took, try clicking and let me know if it works!