Walled garden

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Looking across the walled garden © National Trust

It's thought that until 1974, when Parke was donated to the National Trust, the walled garden was used mainly for growing fruit. After many years of sad neglect, we decided it was time for action. 

The hard work of members of the Bovey Tracey Climate Action group and our staff and volunteers has brought the garden back to life.

The garden

We've already had fruit from this young tree © National Trust

The garden is split into four with a small pond and wild flower border central to the design.

The top two quadrants are planted with unusual fruits and vines and the bottom half of the garden planted with vegetables produced by the BCA gardeners.

The whitewashed walls enhance the reflection of sun and heat onto the fruit trees planted around them.


Wildflowers growing around the pond in the walled garden © National Trust volunteer

The wild flower border is planted with a mixture of grasses and flowers providing nectar for many pollinating insects and attracting valuable predator species. 

Out of season, it can look a little untidy but the vegetation provides valuable shelter for over-wintering insects and amphibians.

Sustainable gardening

Solar powered irrigation in action

Solar powered irrigation in action

The garden is not certified as organic, but we do try to be as sustainable as possible in our approach to gardening by using the following methods:

  • Composting, green manures and liquid feed, leaves collected for leaf mulch, local manure, peat-free compost
  • Solar powered irrigation, no chemicals, eco-friendly pest control, hand tools only
  • Wildlife pond, wildflower border, companion planting


What we grow in the garden

  • We should get a good crop of beans © National Trust


    The bottom half of the garden is devoted to growing vegetables.

  • We'll make grape juice from the crop © National Trust staff

    Mixed fruits

    A variety of fruit growing methods include apple tree cordons, pear espaliers and grape vines. &n...

  • Flowers are cut and used at Castle Drogo © Kate Yeo


    The cut flower border is at the bottom of the garden and is best seen during the summer months.

Opening times

When our staff or volunteers are working in the garden you're welcome to have a look around.

The Bovey Community Gardeners' opening times are:

  • Wednesday 10am - 1pm
  • Alternate weekends 10am - 1pm

Spring in the garden

The almond blossom’s coming out ..... © Fred Hutt

The almond blossom’s coming out .....

Everything's beginning to burst into life.  You can see beautiful blossom on the almond, cherries, nectarines, peaches and plums and even some baby apricots.

The cowslips are peeking out in the wildlife border and the daffodils are in flower.  If you have a look in the pond, you'll see some tadpoles.

Work in progress

Cosmos seedlings in the polytunnel © National Trust staff

Cosmos seedlings in the polytunnel

We've been busy sowing seeds and some of the seedlings you'll see are African marigolds, calendula, cosmos and helichrysum. 

All the dead growth has been cleared from the wildflower border, ready for this year's plants.

We have regular volunteers who've prepared the raised beds and already planted the carrots and  are propagating squashes, lettuces, tomatoes and courgettes.