Gardening

Summer in Gidleigh's Gardens

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A catch up from Estate Manager, Andrew Brimblecombe on Gidleigh Park's grounds & gardens and what they have to offer this summer.

While spring has well and truly come and gone, it has left us with so much to still look forward to.

All of our wild-flowers are a plethora of colour and abundance. Nature has really managed to pack a punch considering the wet winter, sub-zero temperatures and snow from earlier in the year.

We now have glorious rhododendrons and azaleas to greet your eye upon arrival.

Wandering along to our water garden, an impressive array of gunneras, acers and one of my particular favourites, epimediums all border the fast-flowing Teign river. This is not an area with an abundance of flowers at this time of year but the foliage is to die for.
 

Probably the most productive area of the estate at this time of year is our vegetable and herb garden along with our greenhouse. Providing plenty of valuable produce to support your culinary experience, these ingredients travel from garden to plate within hours of picking.

Many have witnessed members of our kitchen team harvesting herbs, fruit and vegetables under the expert guidance from my team.

Gidleigh Park Kitchen Garden

Nothing screams an English summer more than a good game of croquet on our manicured lawns. As any keen gardener will know, keeping a lawn looking fabulous is an impossible task when fighting the elements, be that too hot, too dry or too much water.

Our 18-hole putting course is almost a full-time job on its own and I obviously couldn’t achieve any of this without a great team behind me.

Putting green at Gidleigh Park

Why not come and see for yourself? We offer Garden Tour lunches throughout the year and myself and the team are always happy to talk about our magnificent grounds and estate.

See the latest events at Gidleigh Park.

We are but a small part of your overall Gidleigh experience but we work closely with the excellent team in the hotel.

As another season quickly approaches, so do new challenges and achievements that keep us on our toes around the estate.

Find out more about the gardens at Gidleigh Park.

Winter Wonders

Cornus Alba 'Westonbirt'


Tips on winter gardens from Jane Moore, our award-winning head gardener at The Bath Priory

"Winter gardening is always something of a challenge, especially when it’s been as wet as it has lately. But it never seems to matter to the plants how wet, windy and frozen it gets as they’re as tough as old boots, tougher in fact than most of the old boots I’ve ever owned.

They’re built to be tough, genetically modified by generations of flowering their little hearts out in the most inclement and generally ghastly weather that is typical of the British winter. I’m not just talking here about all those lovely coloured barks and brilliant stemmed dogwoods which will cope with wind and rain but more the dainty little pretties that withstand freeze after freeze, downpour after downpour and still hold their little heads high.

These are the real winter wonders: the Oriental hellebores (pictured below) which flop with the overnight frost and gradually, magically raise their stems back up again as they thaw out. The tiny little Iris, so delicate and seemingly fragile, and the little Tete a Tete daffodils, perfect miniature versions of their later flowering, more brash cousins. Then there’s the shrubby winter flowering honeysuckle with its little flowers that make up for their scant size by the sheer volume of their perfume. That plant alone keeps the stray bumble bees well fed and happy through the winter."
 

Oriental hellebores or Helleborus oprientalis and Iris 'Kathryn Hodgkin'

Wintersweet or Chumonanthus Praecox 'Lutea'.


"But best of all is the Wintersweet (pictured above) with its warm yellow, waxy blooms in such abundance on those bare, twiggy stems. That’s the plant that keeps me happy through these winter months. In fact, the chances are that if it’s one of those rare, warm winters’ days, you’ll find me under the Wintersweet, standing there smelling in a cloud of its sublime scent. It’s a little sniff of the summer to come."

Jane Moore
@janethegardener