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Please check with garden owners or their website to confirm current dates open 21st March - 31st Oct; Daily except Saturdays; 10am - 5pm.
Pre-booked parties only 1 week in advance. Tours £2.50 pp
May - October
The borders in full bloom.
Adult £4; Child £2.50; Over 60s £3.50. Children under 5 free
Group rates, Adult £3.20; Child £2; Senior Citizens £2.80;
Season: Adult £15; Child £8; Over 60s £12.50
Limited access for disabled
The lovely cafe is now under new management and using all the vegetables and fruit from the gardens and permaculture. Menu's are available in advance if required and orders can be taken for lunches and afternoon teas.
Commodore Hoops Inn, Horns' Cross
Tea Rooms Hoops Inn, Horns' Cross
Westleigh Pub Hoops Inn, Horns' Cross
There are five distinct yet contrasting areas in these expanding gardens, now a good 45 acre site. It is best known for its formal Italian terraces renovated by Mary Keen and Carl Klein in the mid-1990's. The unique sheltered south-facing site means rare and tender plants similar to those found at Tresco can be grown. The walled Kitchen Garden, worked traditionally, is full of fruit and vegetables. In contrast there is a new vibrant Permaculture Garden demonstrating the benefits of companion planting to reduce pests and diseases. This is already looking good. No inorganic sprays or fertilisers are used on the vegetables.
Next to the Permaculture is the Wild Garden containing a children's play area, plus a field full of fierce looking Highland cattle. Rare breed Berkshire pigs, peacocks, birds of prey, for example a Snowy owl, falcons and buzzards (displays each Sunday at 11.30am and 3pm), can be found dotted around. The lake at the bottom of a ravine through the woods surrounded by massive Thuja Plicata trees is for many the most magical part of the garden.
The newest addition is a labyrinth built from granite from an obelisk on a monument obliterated by a thunderbolt in 1931. There are spectacular views over the estuary and Island of Lundy from there.
Lady Rosa Christie, the owner's great-grandmother called in Sir John Belcher at the end of the nineteenth century. The three Italian terraces were dug out at that time and the unique greenhouse that went the length of the Kitchen Garden was erected. They grew enough vegetables to feed most of the village of Westleigh and Instow. Prior to this the Clevelands had the lake dug out - it had a natural clay bottom - and surrounded it with the massive Thaja Plicata trees from Canada, the oldest of their kind in the country.