Last week I posted about a quick visit to Buckland Abbey and hinted that I went somewhere else, between munch stops there. As well as Buckland, just two miles away is the beautiful Garden House, a long time favourite of mine. It was created by Keith Wiley, and considered one of the most innovative gardens in Britain. Keith left the Garden House behind twelve years ago, but he didn’t go very far, Wildside, along with Buckland and the Garden House form a trio of must see gardens, within three miles.
With his wife, artist Ros Wiley, Keith has taken a few acres of field and transformed it into a paradise filled with plants from close to home and around the world. The garden has a naturalistic style, and aims to allow plants to thrive as they would in the wild. They began by developing the lower garden.
It looks so mature, you’d never believe it’s only been twelve years.
The upper garden and the transitional areas are still being worked on, but of course a garden is never finished anyway.
I’m afraid it was a rainy day, I was holding my camera and an umbrella and both wobbled around, so my photos don’t do the garden justice. I’ll just have to go back again!
The garden is only open a few days each year, and they have a few plants for sale. My eyes feasted on a little Molly the Witch peony, I brought it home and hope I can keep it alive. Keith and Ros were there and happy to chat, I asked how many people they have helping them. The answer, none, they’ve done it all on their own, a remarkable feat.
I’d highly recommend a visit if you’re in the area at the right time, and I intend to watch the future developments of this glorious floral canvas.
Last Sunday my friend picked me up to take me for a birthday trip. It was a very grey day, and the direction we took meant that the forecast rain was inevitable. It was quite odd to be in the passenger seat, Sue isn’t an enthusiastic driver so I’m usually behind the wheel even in her car. This is the road across Dartmoor.
It doesn’t look promising does it?
Our actual destination doesn’t have any café facilities, and it was already 11.45 so we stopped off at Buckland, for coffee and halfsies on a piece of Bakewell tart.
The restaurant at Buckland has the most interesting old beams.
National trust plant centres are always tempting but I knew there would be more interesting choices later on.
Now just play nicely together for a little while, because I’m not taking you where I went just yet, there are too many photos and I have to try to choose some okay ones from the endless blurred rainy day ones.
Three hours have passed and we’re back at Buckland, too late for a hot lunch or sandwich, but starving, thank goodness for a cheese and onion pasty! Then it’s outside for a stroll. It’s still grey but here are some cheerful stars.
and a pretty garden wall and fence.
with a very formal Elizabethan garden.
The last time I visited Buckland Abbey it was April and there wasn’t much to see in the garden at all. This time I mainly saw purple, pink and magenta.
Even around the corner in the border to the side of the Abbey.
Thank you Buckland for providing the contrast in the middle of my day!
Paula says that mirrors do not always show the true state of things, I agree, until I look into one. Sometimes they can show an alternate reality, I think that’s happening in my photo.
Peace and happiness this weekend everyone.
Overbecks is a small National Trust property at Sharpitor, overlooking Salcombe in the South Hams. The house is Edwardian with a surrounding garden of about seven acres. It is named after it’s last private owner, Otto Overbecks. The house has a small museum, a collection of rather bizarre objects, some of which I’ll try to show you in a few days. The drive down to Overbecks isn’t one that I’d bother with for the house, but the garden is a sub tropical delight, surrounded by woodlands. To get there take the A381 as far as the hill leading down into Salcombe, and then pray that you don’t meet any vehicles along the way. The road goes down steeply with sharp bends big gaps between passing places, cars parked anywhere they can, before it climbs back up around hairpin bends that give you white knuckles. This is coming from a Devon lass, who fearlessly drives narrow, winding lanes in the dark. Of course you might get lucky and not meet a soul! Parking is limited, but we were lucky, so we climbed the last quarter mile up the hill.
Where this view waited.
But we won’t go down the steps to the lower garden yet, we’ve had a long drive and need some refreshments. This is the view from the café.
There’s one of several lawned areas up on the high garden. I failed to capture the true magenta colour of the gladioli’s, never mind, I can see it in my mind’s eye, and you can see how bright the sun was.
which of course had Datura’s as well. I should make the effort to call them Brugmansia, but is doesn’t roll off the tongue as nicely does it?
I could sit there all day, but there are lots more lovely plants to see, so off I stroll.
Up another flight of steps,
to the highest point and the best view.
Some more exotica on the way down for ice cream, Salcombe Dairy Honeycombe, it would be rude not to.
I still didn’t get to sit in here!
So it’s back down the lane, past the Acer glade.
I probably only strolled a mile and a half around Overbecks, but I think Jo would like it there and happily share the walk. If you come to Devon and like the idea of visiting Overbecks, I’d go on a weekday during school term, the last couple miles of road should be a lot easier.
Jude’s Garden Challenge has moved into a new month with a new theme, the essence of summer. ‘What does summer mean to you?’ she asks. A garden with water is the ideal, but without it, a view of water will do.
An exotic National Trust garden on a sunny, belated birthday, with a sea view like this is paradise.
Another good year
For sweet crab apple jelly
John Downie prevails
Jude wants close ups or macros of anything in the garden this month, I hope my ‘tree’ close up amuses her!