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"Best garden I've seen"


When I started my garden I couldn’t see the walls for the brambles and ivy – the rows of leylandii didn’t help either……… That was just nine years ago.

At the time, I had a simple concept, located as I am in the South West, an area crammed with beautiful historic gardens very often filled with bluebells, camellias and rhododendrons that flower up until the end of May. But what happens after May? I asked myself. So I designed my garden to really come in to its own after May.

Since opening my garden daily to the public, I’ve had an exhibition highlighting the garden’s development and the history of the Victorian family who created it. Their family history goes back to Truro and 1755, but the garden was originally built around 1880 reaching it’s height around 1914, as so many gardens did before the Great War. There’s even a picture of the 30 gardeners! From then on it was a gradual slide in to oblivion until I arrived in 1999. Most visitors admit that without my pictures to prove it, they wouldn’t have believed the results in the time.

Inside the exhibition I leave a book open for ‘visitor comments’ and I’m always encouraged and delighted when I read others enthusing about the gardens. I’m especially encouraged to read that many of these are frequent visitors to gardens elsewhere in the region but that my garden was like no other and crammed with different ideas. Last night for example, the latest entries included;
“What a great place! Amazing to have created this garden in such a short time” J&L Sessions, Goonhavern, Cornwall.
“Your garden excels beyond all descriptions. Your designs and ideas have inspired us to do more in our garden” Karen & Julian, Sussex.

Heck! I must be doing something ‘right’.

More blog posts by Muddywellies

Previous post: 'Old friends' returning in April 2008

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You've obviously created a wonderful garden and it must be a joy to visit. You also live in a beautiful area. I love Devon. My grandfather's family were from there. : )

14 Jun, 2008


We've been contacted by a couple from the States who will be staying at your B&B in July - they are going to be looking at some of the great British gardens - including yours! They have asked if they can to visit our garden and have "English Tea" with a real english family!!

14 Jun, 2008


We must come to see you on a nice sunny day and looking forward to seeing your garden.

14 Jun, 2008


Well done its supprising but when you get nice coments said about anything we do, i dont know about you, but it makes me feel on cloud nine.

14 Jun, 2008


Sounds like you have a lovely place, wish I could visit!

14 Jun, 2008


with comments left in your visitors book like those ones you def have done all the right things with the garden. well done

15 Jun, 2008


Great job! You must be well pleased. I'd love to visit one day, but, for now, I have to content myself with your pics and writings here, and your lovely website. Best Wishes!

15 Jun, 2008


Thank you all for your encouragement and warm appreciation. 'Winsford Walled Garden' was open on behalf of the National Gardens Scheme yesterday (Sunday) and, despite a slow and showery start it turned out to be a glorious day, with many visitors expressing their surprise and delight to find somewhere opening daily with such colour in the region.

I love chatting to visitors, occasionally 'we do put the world to rights'. But mostly, we talk gardens and gardening. I especially enjoy listening to their comments on my garden and those of other gardens they have recently visited here in the South West. Their consensus appears to confirm my own when I first arrived in the Devon/Cornwall region, that is, it contains many great and wonderful spring and woodland gardens, but once all the bluebells, camellias and rhododendrons have 'peaked' in May, these gardens become cloaked in a green mantle for the summer . . . . . Which helps to stand 'Winsford' in sharp contrast.

If only I could get a TV company to travel beyond the London and Birmingham orbital road networks? I asked the BBC for three successive years and in a nutshell they said 'we don't do unfinished gardens'. My immediate thought on that at the time, was that any good garden doesn't 'finish', it evolves. Every visitor to my garden has said they've enjoyed seeing the transformation as much as the real thing. Obviously those visitors and myself are out of touch with what makes a good TV gardening programme.

16 Jun, 2008


the BBC dont do unfinished gardens????? very strange as to me a garden is never finished.its an ongoing project.

16 Jun, 2008


Just a thought----Have you tried to contact the N.G.S publicity department to see if they can help with media coverage for your garden?.Each area within the N.G.S also has a 'publicity 'officer, so your regional organiser may also be able to offer you advice or assistance.
The B.B.C worked in collaboration with the N.G.S to screen the 'Open gardens' series last year, and many of the gardens were still being developed when they were assessed for suitability as an open garden.
When 'Gardeners World' visited to film our garden we realised how very expensive it is just to film several minutes as a feature on the programme.The team were here from early morning until nearly 11pm at night, and then they had to travel back to London and Birmingham.
In the meantime, good luck with your efforts to gain media coverage .

16 Jun, 2008

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