Rosemoor Gardens in Devon
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RHS Rosemoor, Great Torrington, North Devon Tel: 01805
A wide range of lectures, practical demonstrations and guided walks, led by RHS experts, take place at Rosemoor and at Cannington College, Bridgwater, Somerset throughout the year.
The story of the RHS Garden Rosemoor begins for us in 1959 when Lady Anne Berry (Lady Anne Palmer) caught measles from her children and, while recuperating in Spain, met the noted plantsman Collingwood Ingram. He invited her to visit his garden on her return to England and encouraged her to return to Rosemoor with a few of his plants to start a garden of her own.
Lady Anne's Garden, as the original garden of Rosemoor is now known, is a plantsman's garden and is of great horticultural and botanical interest. Inspired by the enthusiasm of plantsman Collingwood Ingram, the garden development continued with the planting of specimens collected by Lady Anne on her travels all over Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Japan, the USA and temperate South America. All the new introductions have been carefully labelled and their origin documented to provide the collection with its fascinating history.
In 1923 Lady Anne's parents bought the Rosemoor estate as a family fishing lodge to be used only through March to May. Originally part of the Rolle estate (a local Devon family), it was at that time owned by a Colonel Graham and rented by a Major Rustin. Both were fishermen and in those days the Torridge, which flows along one of the garden's boundaries, was a very good salmon river.
Following the death of her father in 1931 it became home to Lady Anne and her mother. At that time the garden was as Lady Anne describes it 'dull and labour-intensive, typically Victorian with a great use of annuals in beds round the house'.
In 1932 the Stone Garden was built from a patch of rough land which led from the lane bank to the lawn. Designed by Lady Anne's mother, it was built by their chauffeur-handyman and woodman who collected stone from the limekiln (which is situated below the garden's nursery site) for the wall; slate slabs for the paving were found elsewhere on the estate. The lions on the grinding stone and carved in the wall are believed to be a Rolle family emblem and these were collected by Lady Anne's mother from local antique shops. Teak pillars taken from the SS Revenge which was dismantled earlier this century at Bideford port originally supported the temple roof (now sadly dismantled as the supports had become unsafe).
In 1947 Lady Anne returned to live permanently at Rosemoor with her husband and young son and found a house in need of modernisation and farm buildings in serious need of repair. For a number of years they ran the estate as a dairy farm with a herd of up to 50 Ayrshire cows until the herd was sold and the farm reverted to pasture land rented out to local farmers for grazing.
or Phone: 01884 829211
Address: Brambles Bed and Breakfast, Whitnage, near Sampford Peverell, Tiverton, Devon EX16 7DS.
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