Cliff-top tropical oasis

The Banana Garden at Overbeck's, Salcombe, Devon.

Tucked away on the cliffs above Salcombe is this hidden paradise. A subtropical garden, bursting with colour, and filled with exotic and rare plants, surrounding the seaside home of scientist and inventor Otto Overbeck. With breath-taking views from the garden over the estuary and coast you could imagine you are in the Mediterranean

Tropical autumn splendour

The subtropical feeling of Overbeck’s Garden is in full swing by the time September arrives. Over the summer the growth of the plants has been fuelled by the warmth of the sun to create a jungle of lush foliage. Arguably no herbaceous plant is more impressive than the tree like banana plants that dominate an area so profusely it’s known as the Banana Garden. Beneath them thrive exotic ginger lilies with their fragrant flower spikes in shades of red, yellow and white. Dozens of palms give structure to the garden, some intentionally planted in rows to create avenues, and others use their architectural leaves to create their own impromptu arch over a path.

Emerging from the undergrowth and heading to higher ground allows you to orientate yourself once more with views looking north, up the Salcombe estuary, or to the east and the headland of Prawle Point.