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THE GARDEN HOUSE

Partner Garden
Free access for RHS members at selected times

Buckland Monachorum
Yelverton
PL20 7LQ

Signed off A386 on Plymouth side of Yelverton.

10 acres

Tel
01822 854769

Visit website

Opening Hours

Please see website for opening dates and times.

Admission

Please see website for admission prices.

RHS members

Free access (Member 1 only) - applies Fri, Aug–Mar.

Facilities

  • Assistance dogs only
  • Accessible facilities
  • Accessible garden
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Children's activities
  • Free carer entry
  • Gift shop
  • Group rates
  • Parking
  • Picnic area
  • Plant sales
  • Refreshments
  • Toilets

Features

  • Arboretum
  • Cottage planting
  • Herbaceous border
  • Pond or lake
  • Wildflower meadow

About the garden

Owned by
Fortescue Garden Trust

This glorious garden nestles in a quiet valley on the fringe of Dartmoor National Park. It has been continually developed since the mid-1940s, when Lionel Fortescue, the son of one of Cornwall's Newlyn painters, began overhauling the two-acre walled garden of his new home. He then turned his attention to neighbouring fields and created an inspiring, colourful garden that opened to the public just over 62 years ago.   

Lionel's inspirational approach included a ruthless attention to detail and colour, and zero tolerance for plants that were not performing well. This attention to detail continues today, where the swathes of naturalistic planting and informal, gentle designs are in fact gardened as massive 'deconstructed' herbaceous borders. The effect is breathtaking, as are the borrowed views over Devon hills. The pastoral view through the Cottage Garden in late spring over to the church tower of neighbouring Buckland Monachorum has become an iconic shot for photographers. In the autumn the acer glade sets the same view alight in reds, purples and golds.

There are five terraces in the walled garden that began Lionel's garden. They include formally planted areas, including a tennis court, camellia walk and a lower terrace of stunning long borders that are at their peak in summer and into early autumn. The lower terrace snakes around medieval ruins, including a thatched barn and stone tower. The garden has a worldwide reputation as a plantsman's garden, and the friendly team help visitors identify interesting plants. Each year hybrids pop up that are throwbacks to Lionel's originals. This isn't a garden stuck in time though. It has been successively developed by head gardeners who have all made their mark on the planting and accessibility. It remains a garden at the forefront of 'new' naturalism. If you visit Devon, this a garden that shouldn't be missed.

Plants of special interest

  • Agapanthus
  • Camellias
  • Cornus (for winter stems or spring bracts)
  • Dahlias
  • Grasses
  • Magnolias
  • Rhododendrons/azaleas
  • Roses
  • Snowdrops
  • Spring bulbs
  • Wildflowers
  • Wisteria

Get involved

The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.