Sheltered by woodland and cliffs, this area of Devon enjoys an astonishingly mild microclimate, thereby providing ideal growing conditions for many less hardy trees and shrubs. An increasing number of plants from Australia and New Zealand are grown, while the more formal area of garden near the house is Edwardian in character and reminiscent of gardens on the Mediterranean Riviera.
Entrance to the garden, via a flight of steps, is through an avenue of chusan palms, trachycarpus fortunei, named after the plant collector Robert Fortune. Below the retaining wall by the wrought-iron gates is a row of lantern trees, crinodendron hookerianum. It is surprising how these acid-loving trees thrive here considering the relatively high alkaline content of the soil.
From here, each section of the garden has been divided up into plants which flourish in their given environments. The most successfull of these is the Himalayan Magnolia campbellii, which was planted on the lower terrace in 1901. It is an unforgettable sight in February/March, covered in deep pink blooms.
The garden has a rich history and one which must be seen to be fully appreciated.