Tuesday, May 31, 2016

I have a new garden....

....10 acres of garden, in fact.  No I haven't won the lottery, inherited from a rich relative, or embarked on a career involving bribery and corruption.

I've become a volunteer at The Garden House, a world renowned garden trust which is about 8 miles from my home in Plymouth.  I'll be doing the photography to help with marketing the garden, providing my Word DTP skills to help with newsletters and any other work that needs doing.  And it's certainly worth while because it gives me access outside the times the garden is normally open to the public.  Early in the morning, for example, when the air is still and the softer light ideal for photography.  I hope to take a good many shots suitable for their use in attracting visitors to this glorious garden.

May view down the long walk at the Garden House, Devon
It's been a difficult last couple of years.  Maria has been treated for diffuse B-cell non-Hodgkins lymphoma.  She was at stage 4 when treatment started.  It was in the bone marrow and, untreated, she'd have had 3 months to live.  6 rounds of grueling chemotherapy and she's now in remission with a good prognosis.  It has affected her arthritis, very severely at times, but not enough to stop her starting a BA Contemporary Craft degree at Plymouth College of Art and Design.  She'll finish just in time to retire!  My health has also suffered with the amount of care she's needed - hence the lack of blogging. But now, with a new garden to document and Maria in remission I've all the incentive I need to start again.

The Garden House is a beautiful garden at any time of the year.  I feel privileged to be given access. It's a garden I've known for over thirty years since I started visiting back in the 1980's.  It's changed and evolved over that time but always in sympathy with the setting and vision of the successive head gardeners and trustees.  I'll only be able to record it for a relatively brief period compared with its total lifespan but, hopefully, the images will provide a record.
The pathway on the top terrace of the walled garden with Azalea 'Sunbeam' and Quercus robur 'Concordia'
Rhododendrons line the pathway on the bowling green terrace

Texture contrasts at the bottom of the Acer glade at the Garden House, Devon

I'm obviously biased but the garden is well worth a visit at anytime between March and October. There is always something to see and, with a collection of 6000 different plants, get ideas for plantings and combinations.  You can even buy some of the plants in the small sales centre.

It's easy to find.  Head out of Plymouth on the Tavistock Road and you'll find it signposted just before you reach Yelverton.  Go through Crapstone and it's a hundred yards on the left after the final bend.

For the beginning of June the Wisterias are out.  On the house, in the walled garden, on a rustic bridge and free standing on the bowling green terrace.  They are starting to look magnificent.

My own garden?  Well, that's another story.  Suffice it to say I'll add a few pictures once I get it back into shape.  As with the blogging I've had little time and less energy.


  1. How nice! It's been a long time since we've been, must visit soon....

    1. Not an exotic garden - but lots of interesting plants in a great setting.