Gardens – Things to Do

The South West of England has some of the finest gardens in the country. Thanks to the mild climate, many exotic plants thrive and survive through the mild winters thanks to the Gulf Stream.

All the gardens are listed on the map at the foot of this page.


Winsford Walled Gardens, Winsford, Halwill Junction, Beaworthy EX21 5XT  Tel: 01409 221 477

Winsford Walled Garden is an inspirational garden full of summer colour and interesting planting. A large mature bamboo grove has a collection of many different varieties – probably the largest in the Westcountry. The two restored Victorian teak glasshouses are also a major feature of the gardens.        

gnome reserve

The Gnome Reserve and Wild Flower Garden, West Putford, Bradworthy. EX22 7XE  Tel: 01409 241 435

Set amid truly rural countryside between Bideford and Bude just 7 miles from the Devon Cornwall border. the 4 acre Reserve comprises woodland, stream, 30 yard pond, meadow and garden – home to about 250 labelled species of wild flowers, herbs, grasses and ferns.   


RHS Garden Rosemoor, Great Torrington. EX38 8PH  Tel: 0845 265 8072

The original garden at RHS Garden Rosemoor was created by Lady Anne Berry, and is a true plantsman’s garden. The whole of Rosemoor is surrounded by woodland, and the acidic soil and valley-bottom location proffer their own challenges, as despite a generally mild climated, the garden is subject to frosts from October through to May. Highly ornamental gardens with shrubs, roses, perennials and bulbs were established during the first ten years of the gardens’ life, and now the emphasis has shifted to more extensive, long-term projects.


Docton Mill Gardens, Lymebridge, Hartland, Bideford. EX39 6EA  Tel: 01237 441 369

Docton Mill Wild Flower Gardens are situated in North Devon (UK) in a stunning valley, 1000m from the coast. The Garden started in the 1930’s but fell into disrepair in the 1970’s. 1980 saw the Mill renovated and Garden cleared with extensive planting and the creation of a new Bog Garden and borders, vast numbers of trees were planted. The start of the new Millennium saw developments including a new Magnolia Garden with large Herbaceous borders, Woodland Garden and Greenhouse area enabling more extensive plant propagation.

clovelly court

Clovelly Court Gardens, Clovelly, Bideford. EX39 5TA  Tel: 01237 431 781

When you visit Clovelly, be sure to visit the gardens at Clovelly Court. Plants thrive in this sheltered sunny corner of North Devon, which has the added benefit of the warmth the Gulf Stream brings.

You’ll find these old walled gardens a contrast to the rest of the village, so do go along and enjoy their beauty. Protected from the winds and bounded by an avenue of lofty lime trees, they are usually a month ahead of the season – but you’ll find that there’s always something to see and enjoy at any season of the year.

hartland abbey gardens

Hartland Abbey & Gardens, Hartland, Bideford. EX39 6DY  Tel: 01237 441 234

From 1157-1539 the Augustinian canons lived and gardened in this hidden paradise. In the 18th century woodland gardens were created on either side of the Abbey with woodland walks leading to walled gardens, built to be sheltered from the worst of the Atlantic gales. In the late 19th and early 20th century Gertrude Jekyll was a frequent guest at the Abbey and was instrumental in helping Lady Stucley create the intimate paths and small terraces of the Baronet’s Bog Garden, Victorian Fernery and Camellia Garden.

Tapeley Park Instow England 2013 145

Tapeley Park & Gardens, Instow, Bideford EX39 4NT  Tel: 01271 860 897

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.      


Marwood Hill Garden, Marwood, Barnstable. EX31 4EB  Tel: 01271 342 528

This magical and very special 20 acre private garden with three lakes is set in a valley tucked away in North Devon only 4 miles from Barnstaple. Created by Dr Jimmy Smart VMH in the late 1950’s the gardens are a wonderful haven in which to relax and enjoy the impressive collections of plants, shrubs and trees and experience the views and peaceful atmosphere. The garden has featured on many garden programmes over the years and is enjoyed by visitors of all ages looking for inspiration, relaxation or just a great day out with the family. The view across the valley from the Garden Tea Room is spectacular, the food served is delicious, and the Plant Sales area is sure to tempt you with the variety of unusual plants for sale. Dogs on leads are welcome too.

arlington court

Arlington Court and Gardens, Arlington, Nr Barnstable EX31 4LP  Tel: 01271 850 296

Formal Victorian garden with conservatory rebuilt in 2012, planted with exotic species and walled garden providing produce for the tea room and flowers for the house 

bowdens hostas

Bowdens, Cleave House, Sticklepath, Okehampton. EX20 2NL  Tel: 01837 840 481

We have dealt with hostas for over 30 years and are acknowledged as the leading hosta nursery in the United Kingdom. Bowdens is a “growing” business and in recent years we have diversified into other plants and garden furniture. The acquisitions of Rickards Hardy Ferns, The Pot and Grass Company, The Bamboo Store and The Outdoor Space Company have served to strengthen our ability to serve our customers with a wider range of products. 

wick farm gardens

Wick Farm Gardens, Cookbury, Holsworthy EX22 6NU  Tel: 01409 253 76

8-acre pleasure garden with many attractive features, arranged around house into rooms. Fernery, small ornamental pond, borders, sculptures, long border around lake with large variety of plants to attract butterflies and bees. Arboretum with over 300 varieties of trees. Ample seating, tropical oasis, croquet lawn.


Ruby Country Partnership is pleased to be supporting these businesses and would like to support more. If you are interested in working with Ruby Country Partnership to develop and promote your business please contact us at Holsworthy Information Centre on 01409 254185 or email us at


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