Country Gardener

Widely regarded as the authority on gardening in the south west

Garden visits

Luscombe Farm, Buckfastleigh, Devon

This walled garden two and a half miles from the A38 junction at Buckfastleigh was designed and created by Julian and Jasmin David in the 1960s. A formal garden with fastigiate yews and box hedging and topiary, loosely planted with roses, shrubs, perennials, annuals and bi-annuals, it has a magical feel and great views across the Dart valley.

Open for the NGS: Saturday 13th, Sunday 14th June, 10.30am-5pm. Admission: £3.50, children free. Plants for sale. Dogs allowed. Wheelchair access.

Lower Grenofen, Tavistock, Devon

Another new garden for the NGS this year, there are 46 acres at Lower Grenofen near Tavistock in a designated Area of Natural Beauty (mainly a Site of Special Scientific Interest) with woodland walks on the banks of the River Walkham. Nicola Evans and Steven Nash’s two-acre cultivated secluded garden has lawns, wildlife ponds, a rill with raised beds, also a bog and waterfall to a terrace with glazed outdoor rooms. There are perennial cottage plants and native wild flowers, and specimen acers.

Woodbury Gardens, Woodbury near Exeter, Devon

A new opening for the NGS this year, these are two pretty gardens in the centre of this attractive East Devon village. Tim Andrews Gallery and Garden is a compact, well stocked garden with emphasis on foliage planting, punctuated by sculptures from leading artists. There’s a pond/water feature and a vegetable/fruit garden. The attached gallery with a current international exhibition will also be open. Haydons, in Bonfire Lane, is a cottage style corner garden landscaped into three different areas.

Horn Park, Beaminster, Dorset

A large, plantsman’s garden owned by Mr and Mrs David Ashcroft, with a magnificent view to the sea. This is a garden of contrasts, from the formal to the wild. There are many rare and mature plants and shrubs to discover in the terraced, herbaceous, rock and water gardens. Then wander into the woodland garden and walk in the bluebell woods. A lovely wild flower meadow has 164 varieties including orchids. Later in the year there’s good autumn colouring.

Middle Well, Stoke Gabriel, Totnes, Devon

Neil and Pam Millward will be opening their garden this year in aid of Avon Vale Tennis and Croquet Club (the second oldest grass court club in the country).  There will be tea and coffee in the morning and teas later, with plants, books, jams and other produce for sale.
The garden has a wide range of perennials, trees, shrubs and bulbs and several interesting architectural/hard landscaping features. The four-acre plot contains many different habitats including wet and dry woodland, pasture, streams and walled, intensively planted areas and vegetable plots – and work is ongoing!

Nailsworth Gardens, Nailsworth, Gloucestershire

Two gardens in the village of Nailsworth, four miles south of Stroud are opening together, both for the first time for the NGS: Floris House, owned by designer and artist Elly Austin, is planted in a free-flowing style down a series of terraces, while Springfields, owned by Andrew Joyce, is more formal, with water features, beds of perennials, roses and shrubs, and several viewing points to give the impression of its being a much larger garden.

Pennington House, Lymington, Hampshire

A splendid seven-acre garden created around 1910 by Frederick Grotian, with expansive lawns and clipped yew hedging surrounding an Italian sunken garden, a rose garden, rejuvenated rockeries, ponds and a stream. The garden is under the management of head gardener Tom Maskell, with a large Victorian walled garden and glasshouse that are in full use and all has been organic for 24 years. The grounds of Pennington House, owned by Sue Stowell and John Leach, offer a relaxing visit in a rural, tranquil setting overlooking the Solent. 

Wortley House, Wortley, Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire

Simon and Jessica Dickinson’s 20-acre garden will be opening on Tuesday, 23rd June for the first time for the NGS by pre-booked ticket only. This new initiative has been inspired by the reluctance in the past of certain garden owners to open for the NGS because of concerns about security and their ability to cope with large numbers.  Admission will be more expensive (£15 in this case), but as numbers will be limited, visitors will be shown round personally by the owners and will have the sense of being on a private, exclusive visit to the garden. 

Rose Cottage, Kempley, Gloucestershire

Open this year in June with more than 200 dahlias on display, Naomi Cryer’s garden of roughly an acre of flat ground at Rose Cottage is put mostly to herbaceous borders. There’s a hot bed and long border leading to a borrowed view, a small parterre in the orchard area, a grass bed and pond. The small wild flower pasture is at its best in June. Then there’s the rose garden to see, the iris bed, hydrangea bed, a vegetable plot with a nursery bed and cutting garden.

Barton House, Barton-on-the-Heath, Warwickshire

With many rare and mature trees including a 550-year-old Spanish chestnut, azaleas, species and hybrid rhododendrons, magnolias, and moutan tree peonies, a Japanese garden, a secret garden and a rose garden, a visit to Mr and Mrs I H B Cathie’s idyllic garden will make for a splendidly varied visit. There are six and a half acres to explore around the manor house by Inigo Jones (not open). The secret garden has many camellias and the fragile Magnolia delavayi that only fl owers for one day every year.


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