Open Garden: Westleigh Farm, Lydeard St Lawrence

Open on Sunday 26th June from 11am to 5pm

To quote the St Margaret’s brochure:

“This tranquil plantsman’s garden, surrounding the Georgian farmhouse, has been created over the past 17 years. Old stone barns provide backdrops to a series of steps and terraces sculpted from the hillside sheltering a profusion of borders. Vegetables, fruit and flowers grow side by side, including a traditional flowering hay meadow”

10 miles north west of Taunton
Westleigh Farm
West Leigh
Lydeard St Lawrence
TA4 3RE (NB the other side of the B3224 than Lydeard St Lawrence)

Sent in by: Kate Harris, Higher Nunnington Farm, Wiveliscombe TA4 2AE

Reminder: Coach Trip to Little Dartmouth Farm

Coach Trip to Little Dartmouth Farm, nr. Dartmouth and Mothecombe House, nr Plymouth on Thursday 7th July

Our final visits of the season are coming up shortly and there are still some places available for this trip.  Due to the access to both properties being narrow, we are limited to a 30 seater coach which has made it a little more expensive than usual, but it promises to be an interesting outing.  The coach will leave from Taunton at 9.15.  

The first garden, which is not regularly open to the public, is Little Dartmouth Farm.  Designed 10 years ago by Dan Pearson it should be an interesting study of how to “live and evolve” with a ‘designer’ garden.  Right on the coast the garden has a vast panorama of sea and sky.  Curving beds wrap around the sides of a stepped terrace, and below the terrace a ha-ha allows uninterrupted vistas to the sea.  A superb vegetable and cutting garden, large greenhouse space, beautifully wrought dry stone walls and airy, naturalistic planting give this garden the ‘wow’ factor.

In the afternoon we will visit the gardens at Mothecombe House.  Also right on the coast but sheltered from the prevailing south westerly salt-laden winds which allow tender plants to flourish.  The time of our visit is just right for the Bee Garden which was created in 2013.  250 lavender plants in 12 varieties has brought a considerable increase in bumble bees, solitary bees and hoverflies to the garden.  Beyond the immediate gardens are extensive wooded glades lead down to the beach.

Tea and cake will be served at both gardens and we should be back in Taunton by 5.30pm.  Additional information about the gardens can be found on the Somerset HPS site.  To book please contact Penny Berry or phone: 01278 662720.  Penny deals strictly with bookings only, so if you have any queries about the trip please contact Kate Harris at

Kate Harris, Higher Nunnington Farm, Wiveliscombe TA4 2AE

Reminder: Plant Fair at Lower Severalls on Sunday 12th

Sunday 12th June

HPS Somerset Group Summer Plant Fair at Lower Severalls

10.00am – 3.00pm 

Admission:  Non-members £4     HPS and RHS members £3.50 

The fair at Lower Severalls is a popular event, with independent nurseries from across the South West bringing their best plants to sell.  

The Fair will run from 10.00am until 3.00pm and you can pay on the gate – no need to pre-book your tickets for this one. There will also be a range of delicious light refreshments available and a chance to see the garden at an earlier time of year. 

We have the following excellent nurseries and stalls coming along from various parts of the south-west (plus one coming from mid-Wales!), and of course the HPS Somerset Group plant stall, to bring you the best of their summer plant offerings:

  • CB Plants
  • Charles Chesshire Plants
  • Exotic Earth Plants
  • Floyds Climbers
  • In Clover
  • Gardener’s Blacksmith
  • Heartsease Plants
  • Japonica Plants
  • Leesa’s Not Just Alpines
  • Misfit Plants
  • Pennard Plants
  • Plant Wild
  • Plants Galore
  • Wild Thyme 

Member Plant Sale: Oakdene near Wivvy

Please could you mention our Plant Sale from Monday 13th to Sunday 19th June.  It is at Oakdene, Petton, 5 miles from Wiveliscombe on the B3227. The Plant Sale is in aid of St Petrock’s Church Fabric Fund.  

To book a time slot to view the plant, please ring Angela or Jon on (01398) 361800.

If you don’t need any plants but would like a tour of garden for a small donation towards the church, we would be happy to show you around our third of an acre.  We garden on thick yellow clay and are happy to share our successes and challenges!

Thank you.

Best regards

Angela and Jon 

Visit to Stockton Bury Gardens and Stone House Cottage Nursery Tuesday 7th June

There are still a few seats available on our coach trip to Hereford and Worcester on Tuesday 7th June.   Pick up from Taunton will be at 8.15 and from Burnham at 8.45.  Details of the gardens are in the latest newsletter and on the website, but hopefully people will also have been inspired by Tamsin Westhorpe’s talk in March.  

Stockton Bury is a good example of new ideas incorporated into a more traditional setting.  The garden and nursery at Stone Cottage is full of interesting and unusual plants and certainly has a unique feel about it.  We hope to be home at 6.00 and 6.30pm respectively.  

The cost was advertisied at £36 but we have been asked to pay a fuel supplement so hope that everyone will be willing to pay an extra £1.  

To book please contact Penny Berry Tel 01278 662 720  For any other information about the trip please contact Kate Harris 01984 624 615  Full joining instructions will be sent out shortly.   

Member Open Garden: Elworthy Cottage

Mike and Jenny Spiller’s garden at Elworthy Cottage, Elworthy is open for the National Garden Scheme on Tuesday 31st May fron 11am to 4 pm admission £4.50. Their 1 acre plantsmans garden has many island beds planted in a cottage garden style and also interesting trees and shrubs.

Tea, coffee and cake available in aid of the Childrens Hospice South West. The adjoining nursery will also be open. Phone 01984656427 Elworthy is on the B3188 12 miles NW of Taunton (postcode TA4 3PX)

North Curry Open Gardens

Please could you mention the North Curry Open Garden weekend on 18th and 19th June? It includes 13 gardens for £6 within the centre of the village. There is free parking in the Manor Field, teas in the church and tickets and programme from the PO, the parking field or the individual gardens. Thank you!

Liz Gibbs

Summer Lecture by Troy Scott Smith

In response to demand from members, we have arranged a special summer lecture, given via Zoom, during our usual meeting “closed season”. The lecture is being given by Troy Scott Smith, head gardener at Sissinghurst on WEDNESDAY 6 JULY at 7.30pm. The topic is “The Delos Project” which is a recreation of a Greek-style garden that Vita Sackville West and Harold Nicholson tried to establish at Sissinghurst. 


Zoom meeting joining instructions for members will be sent out nearer the date.


If you are not a member and would like to attend the lecture, the charge will be £5. Please email via the contact page here on the Group’s website and someone will be in touch with information about how you can pay.

Chelsea Tickets for Friday 27th

Due to catching Covid there may be available 2 tickets to Chelsea for this Friday 27th May.  The tickets are in West Somerset (near Dulverton) and are non-Member whole-day (8am – 8pm) tickets at £85 each. 

It all depends on 2 negative Covid tests!  Anyone interested please call Rosie 01398 341855 / 07506 673 242  or email

Regards, Rosie Treherne