February 24th – Visit to two Dartmoor Gardens
Our first visits of the year are just 3 weeks away; another encouraging sign that spring really is on its way!
Our first stop is at Higher Cherubeer, near Winkleigh on the edge of Dartmoor. This is a naturalistic woodland garden with national collections of snowdrops and species cyclamen. These are set among numerous winter-flowering shrubs and many salix and cornus whose winter stems enhance this impressive early spring garden which sits so comfortably in its surrounds. Our hostess Jo Hynes will give us an introduction to the garden and be on hand to answer any queries. There should be plants on sale and tea/coffee and cake will be served.
There have recently been (at least) 2 good articles on this garden which can be viewed from the following links:
Our second visit of the day is to Stone Lane Gardens near Chagford, an RHS partner garden, where we can see their National Collection of birches in all their winter glory. Although we miss the usual sculpture garden for which Stone Lane is also well known, the sight of the birches, some maybe already with their catkins, but still with their stark leafless silhouettes and bright trunks, should be memorable. The head gardner Paul Bartlett, will give us an introduction and history of the garden. Tea/coffee and biscuits will be served and pre-ordered trees can be collected – not too big though we shall only be in a mini-bus!
Their website is : https://stonelanegardens.com
The bus will leave Taunton Hankridge Farm (just off the M5) at 8.30 and we expect to be back at approximately 4.30pm. If there is sufficient demand we could also stop at the service station next to the Tiverton exit of the M5 to collect/put down passengers. Stout footwear will be in order, and probably waterproofs too, being Dartmoor in February. Packed lunches should also be brought as there are no other catering facilities available on the day. Both venues however have loos for our use!