Spring in the Castle Drogo garden

The Fragrant Terrace in the Castle Drogo garden.

Mid spring colour in the garden really are an impressive sight.  Azaleas and Rhododendrons are bursting out above a sea of bluebells, when one Rhododendron variety fades another follows. 

The gardens are compact, which allows for many paths to be taken, and none to be missed.  Explore a different corner and a new delight awaits.  
The scents throughout the garden at this time of year are heady.  A walk through the shrubbery is full of exploding colour and the spicy scents of the Azaleas.  Sweet notes added from other woodlanders such as Smilacina racemose – false Soloman’s Seal and Lilly of the Valley.
 
Lower down in the garden the formal terraces come into view.  The 92 year old Wisteria sinensis flowering from mid-May to early June, brings another scent to breathe in.  Here fine views look over the 250 meters of herbaceous borders where Bearded Iris, Peonies and Astranteas are flowering.  These pure herbaceous perennial borders have interest right now through to October a must see for lovers of perennials.  The unusual serpentine paths in this geometric garden bring depth to the borders, by staggering the plants in repeat patterns.
On the lower terrace the chequer board lush formal lawns and rose beds, showcase simplicity.  But this belies its high maintenance.  On your visit, speak to any one of the garden team who can tell you how we manage our lawns and roses.  Encompassing the rose garden which flowers from June to September are the Spring Borders.  These borders from late March to late May are full of Tulips in shades of pink, mauve, purple and apricot with a splash of crimson red.  As these begin to fade Purple Allium and Iris follow.  

As you leave the formal garden enveloped in its immaculate yew hedges, the wilder informal designed landscape can be explored.  Take a stroll through the 1940’s Rhododendron Garden.  Towering blousy varieties such as Rhododendron lodderi King George with its delicate pink flowers which fade to white and smell divine create scale and drama.  Another acid loving plant Peris japonica is also in flower now.  Peris is loved by bees that hum away happily as they feed on its sweet nectar.  Leaving the Rhododendron Garden the imposing granite walls of the castle forecourt tower above.  Here the drama is great, and still so much to explore; the peaceful, secluded Chapel Garden – recently restored, views into the Teign Gorge and the out to the Dartmoor horizon, then onto the footpaths that lead out into the estate.