Devon is the only county in England to have two coastlines, an impressive fact in of itself, but take into account the warm weather that it receives, not to mention the overall fine quality of the air and earth, and it’s not hard to see why this county is also home to some of the most spectacular public gardens in the UK.
There are dozens upon dozens of gardens open to the public throughout the county, ranging from prim and proper formal affairs (often attached to National Trust properties) to impressive, unbridled wild gardens that have been let to run rampant in this idyllic land.
If you’re planning a trip to Devon and are keen to take in a few public gardens whilst you’re in the south, then take a look at this list and make sure to let us know where you’ve visited:
Coleton Fishacre Garden
This RHS accredited garden is steeped in both historical beauty and modern innovation. One of the few National Trust properties to have attained this accreditation, Coleton Fishacre is a safe haven for exotic and tender plants, protected from the worst of the elements by a coastal valley location. A mild climate and plenty of sheltering trees make this a perfect place to visit during the spring and summer; make sure not to miss spectacular bowling green!
RHS Garden Rosemoor
Blending the majesty of the most traditional formal gardens and the casual beauty of an impressionists painting, Rosemoor was originally owned by Lady Anne Palmer who was bequeathed the land in 1931 after the death of her Father, Robert Horace Walpole, the last Earl of Orford. Lady Anne herself, described the gardens as ‘dull and labour intensive, typically Victorian’, before helping to plan the grand garden that exists today.
Bicton Park Botanicals
Over 60 acres of gardens await you at Bicton Park, including some truly impressive botanical specimens which are only able to thrive thanks to the diligent care that is afforded to them by their gardeners. Make sure to visit the Palm House, famed for its architectural beauty as much as its tropical contents. The building dates back to 1845, just 20 years younger than the main Bicton building which is also worth looking at.
Castle Hill Gardens
Located in village of Filleigh near South Molton, finding the aptly named Castle Hill Garden may take some time, but the wait is bound to be worth it. Chief of all the features you’ll find here is Xa Tollemache’s striking Millennium Garden which comes complete with a fantastic water feature and some lovely herbaceous plants. The Woodland Garden is home to over 175 different flowers, visit in spring to see them at their finest.
The formal terraces found in Tiverton’s Knightshayes Gardens are amongst the finest that you’ll see in the country and pair wonderfully with the classic water lily pool and topiary, home to some rare tree specimens. Alongside an exquisite Victorian walled garden, you’ll also be able to explore some attractive woodland walks that take you all the way through the grounds and up to the 19th century county house.