Some of Britain's finest gardens can be found in Devon. Known for its mild winters and showery climate, it is no accident than the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has a spectacular show garden in the Torridge Valley of North Devon.
For those who have never visited RHS Rosemoor near Great Torrington, you are in for a treat. For those who have visited many times, there is always something new in the beautiful garden “rooms” which are planted to ever-changing themes or colour schemes. Rosemoor is an enchanting garden with plenty of different areas to enjoy before ending up at the cafeteria or and tea gardens beside the original house. The rose garden boast over 200 varieties to complement Lady Anne's original garden, the fruit and vegetable garden, arboretum, lake and bog garden. Put on your best walking shoes and enjoy it all!
For stunning coastal views Overbecks at Salcombe is hard to beat. The dramatic terraced gardens are laid out to take advantage of the sloping land. Look for some true exotics ‐ banana palms, huge angel's trumpets, echiums, flowering agaves and fuchsia trees. If you wait until spring you can see the monster magnolia is full bloom too. A gorgeous sight!
Arlington Court is a full day's entertainment with its lovely furnished house, gardens, stables and parkland. Start at the small Victorian garden with its ornamental pond, conservatory and herbaceous borders that are full of colour until well into late autumn. See what's growing in the large walled kitchen garden and greenhouse and enjoy the blooming hydrangeas and rhododendrons in season.
Greenway is a delightful hidden garden in Brixham, best known as the former home of crime writer, Agatha Christie. The house has beautiful views over the River Dart and includes a romantic woodland garden, a restored vinery and many rare plantings. In spring, the footpaths ramble through areas of primroses, bluebells, ferns and wild flowers in contrast to the more formal gardens around the house.
Tiverton Castle Gardens
Another off-the-beaten-track garden to head for is Tiverton Castle Gardens. The castle, now a romantic ruin, offers a solid architectural backdrop to the plantings. Spring bulbs and beautiful blue wisteria give way to a show of summer colour in the border surrounding the house. Seasonal fruit and vegetables can be seen growing and ripening in the kitchen garden and orchard. The walkway down to the River Exe runs through mature woodland making this a perfect spot for a picnic.
The Garden House in Buckland Monachorum is one of the finest gardens in the South West. It covers 8 acres with both traditional and natural plantings and displays over 6,000 plant species. The Cottage Garden and Wild Flower Meadow show nature at its most vibrant along with the splendidly planted Bulb Meadow which bursts into bloom in spring. The South African Garden with its array of poppies, the Alpine Bank and, to finish the season with leaves of bright reds and golds, the Japanese Maples are well worth seeing.
As you can see, Devon is the perfect county for garden-lovers. How many of these gardens have you visited? Everyone has a particular favourite Devon garden; do share yours with us.