13 great Devon gardens to get you inspired in April
PUBLISHED: 09:59 17 February 2015 | UPDATED: 09:59 17 February 2015
Celebrate the arrival of spring by visiting one of the many Devon National Gardens Scheme gardens that will be open over the coming months. From sprawling woods to romantic cottage gardens, it's the perfect way to gain inspiration for your own garden or to simply while away an afternoon.
The National Gardens Scheme raises millions of pounds for charity each year, as visitors pay a very reasonable fee to enjoy a visit to private gardens up and down the country. Garden owners spend many hours preparing their gardens for the special visiting days, and all in a very good cause. Help the Hospices and Macmillan Cancer Support are just two of the charities that have received millions of pounds from the NGS, helping them to carry out their vital work. Here are 13 that you can visit in Devon during April.
Holbrook Garden, Sampford Shrubs, Sampford Peverell, Devon, EX16 7EN
2 acre South facing garden with plantings inspired by natural plant populations; the garden continually evolves - many experimental plantings - wet garden, stone garden. Perfumes, songbirds and nests everywhere in spring and early summer. Fritillaries and pulmonariasin April. Productive vegetable garden and polytunnel
Open: For NGS: Fri 3, Sat 4, Sun 5, Mon 6, Thur 23, Fri 24, Sat 25 Apr, (10-5)
Chapel Farm House, Halwill Junction, Beaworthy, Devon, EX21 5UF
Approx ½ acre garden started in 1992 by present owners, landscaped with shrub borders, heathers, rhododendrons and azaleas. Alpine bed. Kitchen garden. 2 small greenhouses for mixed use. Small bonsai collection. 3 acres of mixed young woodland with wildlife and flowers. Japanese garden and stone lantern
Open: Sat 4, Sun 5 Apr, (11-5)
Haldon Grange, Dunchideock, Exeter, Devon, EX6 7YE
12 acre well established garden with camellias, magnolias, azaleas, various shrubs and rhododendrons; rare and mature trees; small lake and ponds with river and water cascades. 5 acre arboretum planted 2011 with wide range of trees and shrubs
Open: Sat 4, Sun 5, Mon 6, Sat 11, Sun 12, Sat 18, Sun 19, Wed 22, Sat 25, Sun 26, Wed 29 Apr (1-5).
Kia-Ora Farm & Gardens, Knowle Lane, Cullompton, Devon, EX15 1PZ
Charming, peaceful 10 acre garden with lawns, lakes and ponds. Water features with swans, ducks and other wildlife. Mature trees, shrubs, rhododendrons, azaleas, heathers, roses, herbaceous borders and rockeries. Nursery avenue, novelty crazy golf. Lots to see and enjoy, and no afternoon would be complete without sampling a home-made Devon cream tea or a slice of one of the many tempting cakes
Open: Sun 5, Mon 6, Sun 19 Apr, (2-5.30).
Yonder Hill, Shepherds Lane, Colaton Raleigh, Sidmouth, Devon, EX10 0LP
Enjoy a warm welcome to 3½ acres planted with love. Blazing herbaceous borders buzzing with insects, cool woods alive with birdsong, rustling bamboos, delicious scents. Eucalyptus, grasses, conifer and fern collections. Rare plants, unusual planting, wildlife pond, wild flower meadow, woodland tunnels, lots of benches. This garden will awaken your senses and soothe your soul.
Open: Every Sun 5 Apr to 27 Sept (1.30-4.30). Mons 6 Apr, 4, 25 May, 31 Aug (1.30-4.30).
Chevithorne Barton, Tiverton, Devon, EX16 7QB
Terraced walled garden, summer borders and romantic woodland of rare trees and shrubs. In spring, garden features large collection of magnolias, camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas. Also incl one of only two NCCPG oak collections situated in 12 hectares of parkland and comprising over 200 different species
Open: Sun 12 Apr, (2-5).
Wood Barton, Kentisbeare, Devon, EX15 2AT
Established 2-acre arboretum with species trees on S-facing slope. Magnolias, 2 davidia, azaleas, camellias, rhododendrons, acers; several ponds and water feature. Autumn colour. New planting of woodland trees and bluebells opp house (this part not suitable for wheelchairs but dogs are welcome here). Sculptures and profiles in bronze resin
Open: Suns 12, 19 Apr, (2.30-5.30).
Sidbury Manor, Sidbury, Sidmouth, Devon, EX10 0QE
Built in 1870s this Victorian manor house built by owner’s family and set within East Devon AONB comes complete with 20 acres of garden incl substantial walled gardens, an extensive arboretum containing many fine trees and shrubs, a number of champion trees, and areas devoted to magnolias, rhododendrons and camellias
Open: Sat 18, Sun 19 Apr (2-5)
Gorwell House, Goodleigh Rd, Barnstaple, Devon, EX32 7JP
Created mostly since 1979, this 4-acre garden overlooking the Taw estuary has a benign microclimate which allows many rare and tender plants to grow and thrive, both in the open and in walled garden. Strategically placed follies complement the enclosures and vistas within the garden.
Open: Sun 19 Apr, (2-6).
Shapcott Barton Estate, (East Knowstone Manor), East Knowstone, South Molton, Devon, EX36 4EE
Large, ever developing garden of 200 acre estate around ancient historic manor house. Wildlife garden. Restored old fish ponds, stream and woodland rich in bird life. Unusual fruit orchard. Scented bulbs in Apr. Many butterfly plants including over 40 varieties of phlox. Kitchen garden and standard orchard
Open: For NGS: Suns 19, 26 Apr (10.30-4.30)
St Merryn, Higher Park Road, Braunton, Devon, EX33 2LG
Very sheltered, peaceful, gently sloping, S-facing, artist’s garden, emphasis on shape, colour, scent and yr-round interest. A garden for pleasure with thatched summerhouse leading down to herbaceous borders. Winding crazy paving paths, many seating areas. Shrubs, mature trees, fish ponds, grassy knoll, gravel areas, hens. Many environmental features. Open gallery (arts & crafts)
Open: Sun 19 Apr, (2-6).
Cleave House, Sticklepath, Devon, EX20 2NL
The National Collection of Hostas is housed in a beautifully mature garden of about ½ acre, alongside many interesting trees, shrubs and other plants. The new stumpery provides a focal point for ferns and tree ferns. Hostas, ferns, tree ferns and bamboos for sale with expert advice available
Open: Sats & Suns 25, 26 Apr, (10-4)
Andrew’s Corner, Belstone, Devon, EX20 1RD
Well established, wildlife friendly, well labelled plantsman’s garden in stunning high moorland setting. Variety of garden habitats including woodland areas and pond; wide range of unusual trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants for year-round effect with blue poppies, rhododendrons, bulbs and maples. Family friendly, with quiz sheet, fairy doors, playhouse, fruit, veg and chickens
Open: Sun 26 Apr, (2.30-5).
To see all the gardens opening this year just visit www.ngs.org.uk or pick up a Devon Yellow Booklet at your nearest Garden Centre.