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Everything in the garden is rosy at RHS Rosemoor

With so much to see & enjoy, even in the depths of winter, for green-fingered gardeners, a day spent wandering around RHS Rosemoor is truly a day in heaven.
For green-fingered gardeners and would-be Alan Titchmarshes, a day spent wandering the acreage at is truly a day in heaven. There is so much to see and enjoy there, even in the depths of winter, and the garden shop and cafeteria finish off the visit perfectly.

A showcase for the Royal Horticultural Society

Owned and run as a showcase garden for the , I have visited many times and never fail to come away with new ideas, inspiration, a couple of plants and a memory stick full of gorgeous photographs! Even if you are not a garden geek, the beautiful 65-acre grounds have a pleasant woodland area for walks beyond the show gardens. There is also an extensive arboretum and a colourful alpine garden just behind the original house.

Although I would recommend Rosemoor as a place for adults, there are some children’s play areas and a picnic area. “The Brash” is new area developed as a hideaway in the woods and is more child-orientated with giant log stepping stones, dens, bird feeding stations (great for the photographers among us!) and giant bugs to spot. To keep kids occupied there is also a free children’s trail to follow which you can request when you purchase tickets. My young grandkids certainly took it all very seriously as they hunted for plants, insects and landmarks around the gardens – a great idea.

First stop for me is always the perennial border which in late summer is ablaze with colour. Crocosmia, delphiniums, roses, red hot pokers, goldenrod, rudbeckia, solidago and the like offer a vibrant collection of bold primary colours mixed in with ornamental grasses and a backdrop of butterfly-loving buddleia.

The show gardens

Directly below the entrance are the show gardens, each separated by tall evergreen hedges to create “rooms”. Laid out around winding footpaths, these themed gardens are truly a picture. I particularly like the gardens planted on a colour theme so you can appreciate the different textures, shapes and sizes of the blooms. Here you will also find the beautiful rose garden with over 200 species of gorgeous blooms, water features and more formal plantings than elsewhere in the garden.

My route usually takes me through the stream field to the old house, the former home of Lady Anne Palmer who founded the gardens in 1959. She spent the next 30 years planting and opening them to the public occasionally under the . Her original gardens covered just 8 acres. In 1988, she donated the gardens, along with a further 32 acres of undeveloped land to the Royal Horticultural Society.

Take time for tea at RHS Rosemoor

After climbing around the alpine gardens, which are always a picture of colour, order snacks or afternoon tea from the kitchen of the . Then take a seat at one of the outdoor tables to enjoy the ambience. It is a lovely spot, and my favourite time to enjoy it is in early summer when the house is covered in glorious blue wisteria.

Return to your ramble and visit the well-established specimen trees in the arboretum and the upper bog garden before returning through the Rock Gully to the orchard and fruit and vegetable gardens. Again, these are set out very formally but are a great showcase for getting ideas for different new crops or species.

Don’t miss the path down to the lake which is a lovely scenic area. Take a seat beside the water and watch the dragonflies darting about – it’s another great photo opportunity. I usually have just enough energy left to take the diversions through the Lower Woodland Walk which runs alongside the Rolle Canal and eventually brings you back to the entrance, gift shop and restaurant.

Devon is famous for its gardens, and I think RHS Rosemoor is hard to beat. Do you agree, or can you suggest other gardens in the area that you have enjoyed visiting? Let us know below.

About Gillian Birch

Born in Cheshire, Gillian Birch moved to Cornwall at her earliest opportunity and never looked back. After 20 years, her ongoing discovery of popular attractions, quiet footpaths and local eateries has made her a fount of knowledge as she entertains readers with her informative articles on the hidden gems of Devon & Cornwall from a local point-of-view.

Find Gillian on Google+, and Twitter.

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