Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Post Card from Devon

On our way down to Cornwall for our annual visit we stopped off for a day in Devon, with our friends and fellow exotic gardeners, Lucien and Laura. Their garden is looking lovely at the moment, everything bursting into life and many of the herbaceous plants ahead of our own garden.

The winter in Devon was so mild this year that two large Ensete Murelli survived in their garden without any protection! If only we had winters as mild as that in our garden!

We then spent the rest of the day touring some of the local nurseries near to Exeter, first up was Urban and Rural, which is a specialist nursery stocking various exotic and also large specimen plants.

So much to choose from, but on only the first day of our holiday we had to be restrained,
especially as most of the plants are quite large!

General view in the main polytunel
Left to Right: Mark, Gaz, Laura, Lucien and Sam Rankin of Urban and Rural
After Urban and Rural, we then headed down to Trago Mills, which is a large shopping village, with a huge garden centre, first stop was lunch! Trago has a huge garden section, and some great prices, sadly this is not a national chain, but worth popping into when in the area. We have always been pleasantly surprised by the plants at  Trago, often some unusual ones and generally pretty good prices too.

Trago Mills, garden centre.
So much to choose from, a huge selection of perennials.
The final place to visit was Hill House Nursery, a delightful nursery with a wide selection of interesting and unusual plants. Laura was rather taken by the wide selection of Dicentras, but was unable to persuade us to take another one home (she did persuade us at Trago!). Sometimes when plant shopping in a group you can end up persuaded into buying more than you planned! 

The stunning setting of Hill House

Decisions, decisions... We opted for plants then tea...

They also had a selection of succulents for sale
Brugmansia in bloom in the main glasshouse
Then to follow it all off we had Devon cream teas in the nursery garden. Plants and cake in the sunshine, what a perfect way to spend the day!

Mark had a habit of taking unflattering photos, this time I was the victim!
A great start to our holiday, after leaving Hill House we headed down to Cornwall for a week and we will share our adventures there in future posts :)



  1. That's what I love about the UK: nursery left, tea room right. I can't wait for your posts from Cornwall. I have such fond memories of my two trips there. One of these days we'll return...

  2. My jaw dropped when I saw that brug. I swear every time you guys post something I end up with a horrible case of plant lust.

  3. Mmmm, definately need to go south for our holidays!

  4. You have the most interesting nurseries over there. The Brug is gorgeous. Then to be able to eat there. Your day was perfect!

    Cher Sunray Gardens

  5. Gorgeous pics. I would spend too much money. And it's all very well organized....then to top it off with a place to sit and have a nice drink....perfection. Looks like a fun visit:)

  6. Gerhard, Tea and cake does help with the plant buying experience!

    Tom, that Brug is amazing, and only in May in the UK too.

    Libby, yes well worth heading down that way.

    Cher, it was a lovely day, great places, cake and with our good friends too. Plus we met one of the owners at Hill House, who we had only chatted with via Twitter before.

    Rohrerbot, it was a lovely day, several lovely places to select plants, and the tearoom at Hill House is delightful.

  7. What beautiful nurseries! And yes, sometimes it's impossible to buy just a little when you have an enabler (or two) along! I would have been very tempted to try a brugmansia after seeing that fabulous specimen!

  8. Holley, im glad we are not the only ones who get extra tempted when shopping with friends!

    That Brug is stunning, isn't it!

  9. Fabulous photos, you two but I have to say that the cream tea looks such a treat.

  10. The cream tea was lovely Janet, perfect way to spend a day!


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