Sunday, June 15, 2014

Torre Abbey Gardens, Devon, England I

The first really nice public garden that we visited at our current vacation in the county of Devon in England was the one of Torre Abbey in South Devon.



Torre Abbey was founded in 1196 and there is quite an interesting exhibition in the historic house that documents the history of the Abbey over 800 years. But my husband and I came mainly to see the gardens. Even though the grounds are very old, the gardens that you can visit today are relatively new, but nonetheless very interesting and pretty.



It was already lunch time when we arrived at Torre Abbey and we decided to have an English Afternoon Tea for two instead of a traditional lunch at the adjacent cafe. We were pleasantly surprised when this three tired tray filled with goodies was placed on our table. It contained scones, which are eaten with clotted cream and jam in Devon. Then there was an array of sandwiches (salmon, crab, and ham) and a selection of various cakes. It felt like they wanted to feed a whole army, but, of course, we didn't really complain.



After indulging us with the tea time we were ready to see the gardens. There another kind of treat awaited us. We were greeted by this lovely border.



White and blue is always such a refreshing color combination in the garden. Here you see a hardy geranium, probably geranium x magnificum (purple cranesbill), rosa 'Iceberg', and blue delphiniums in the background.



Walking along this border we came across another beautiful combination of the same variety of purple cranesbill, catmint, rosa 'Iceberg', another saturated pink variety of cranesbill, and an absolutely gorgeous dark magenta peony. All towered by a silvery-green huge artichoke like plant.



When I see these peonies it always makes me cringe, because I just can't grow them in Southern California.



Another scene from a border adjacent to the one that we just passed. I am totally in love with chartreuse colored plants in the moment and the chartreuse shrub to the left is just such a stand-out. The plant to the very right is alchemilla mollis 'Lady's mantle', a very common plant in England, which always makes my heart sing. I think, the tiny yellow-chartreuse blooms are so absolutely charming and the matte light green leaves are very pretty, too. I made a promise to myself that I will try to grow this plant in my own garden, when we are back home.




Next we entered a part of the garden that was called "Agatha Christie's Potent Plants Display". Agatha Christie, the famous mystery novel writer, had a beloved holiday home called "Greenway" relatively close by and maybe inspired by that, the head gardener decided to put in a garden containing poisonous plants.




Modern art presented in historic places often works well and this is another good example.

 


I have to admit that I wasn't so impressed by the fact that some of the plants in this section were poisonous, but by the incredible beauty of the flower beds. Roughly in the middle of the photo you can see a standard tree rose. I can never decide if I like them or not, but in this bed it adds some height, which is very pleasing to the eye. Since the beds are relatively small this couldn't be achieved by planting a regular rose, because it would take up too much room. I have a similar tricky situation in my own front yard at home, where I desperately try to add some height to a very small garden border and maybe standard roses could be a solution there as well.




A lovely peony.



The yellow roses visually go quite nicely with the silvery-gray Stachys byzantina, commonly called 'Lamb's Ear' and the opulent flowering catmint. Notice, there is another standard rose in the middle of the bed, but this one is not doing that well, so the effect is a little bit spoiled. 



Close-up of the purple geranium. This variety is just stunning in terms of the color, but also how freely it blooms. Another plant that I will try to find in Southern California and see how it does in my own garden.



This sage with the newer leaves being quite purple caught my attention. It looks so pretty with the blue flowers.




Incredible colored oriental poppy!



The oriental poppy that I just showed was planted together with this interesting variety of clover. It was a stunning combo, which I managed not to get a decent shot of... But I guess, you can use your imagination and bring the two images together.




Same peony variety that I have already shown further above, but surrounded by catmint and 'Lamb's Ear', it appears very different. I really enjoy to observe how color influence each other. This is a very harmonious pairing up in my opinion.




I didn't want to part from this section of the garden. It was so stunningly beautiful and exactly the garden style that I like so much, but there was much more to explore.



This area was called the scented garden. I love the arch conquered by the white rose with the small and dainty flowers. I believe, it was a type of Eglantine Rose.



We have seen this type of daisies very often growing like a weed in Devon. That doesn't diminish its beauty, though.



One thing that I never get tired of is looking at the sometimes very old stone walls conquered by plants. This is a particular pretty example.



This interesting plant is Echium pininana, tree echium. You really can't see it on the photo, but is was quite tall.



I will say goodbye for today with this last image of a bell flower type of plant. To me, pure white blooms are always so attractive.

There is more to come about Torre Abbey Gardens in my next post. Hope to greet you soon, again, on my blog and wishing everyone a good start into the new week.

See you in the garden!

Christina



33 comments:

  1. It amazes me at how many places in England you visit that I've never heard of before. Wow, another one to add to our list of places to visit soon!

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    1. Mark and Gaz, the simple reason for that is that there are just too many incredible places to visit in England :-)! You are so lucky to live in this wonderful country!

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  2. Dear Christina ~ What a lovely post, from your wonderful tea for two, to the stunning blooms in this garden. So many beautiful blooms. Thank you for sharing and I look forward to seeing more.

    Have a great week yourself ~ FlowerLady

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    1. Lorraine, thanks for your nice comment! Can't believe how fast the time is flying when you are on vacation. Here is so much to see that I didn't get around to post, but will hopefully do at the latest when we got home.

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  3. Another vacation in England, lucky you, Christina! Thank you for the tour, I enjoyed the garden although I wish I could see more of Agatha Christie's plants, were there a lot of foxgloves :) ?

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    1. Masha, yes, I feel very thankful that we were able to visit England one more time. I honestly don't know what happened to the poisonous plants of this section of the garden in my post. They may have been visually not so appealing to me, so I didn't notice them much in the first place and therefore didn't take any photos of them. Even now when I try to remember what they were I can't find any clues in my brain. Weird!

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  4. This post is a juwel to me. Fantastic to see. Thanks for taking us with you on your gardentrips. Hope to see more.
    Have a wonderful day.

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    1. Marijke, I am glad you enjoyed reading my post. I hope to get the next post published about our recent England vacation very soon.

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  5. Hallo liebe Christina,

    danke, dass wir Dich durch diese schöne sehenswerte alte Gartenanlage begleiten durften,
    ich freue mich sehr wennn es noch mehr Bilder gibt!
    Liebe Grüsse und eine schöne Woche,
    Ingrid

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    1. Ingrid, my pleasure :-)! I have to admit, that I haven't even started to work on the next post, I am so busy right now...

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  6. Holy COW!!!! Christina...this post blew me away! First off you captured the garden in such a stunning way! Those borders were all so very breath taking! And I agree with you about white blooms in the garden! I loved every bit of this post and have book marked it to refer back to....as it would be a dream of mine to travel to Europe and see gardens such as this one! I hope that your trip is going well but by the looks of it I can see that it is! I look forward to seeing more! Nicole xo

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    1. Nicole, thanks for your very nice comment! I am still madly in love with this part of Torre Abbey gardens as well. I can just repeat myself: I don't know what it is with the Brits, but they are absolutely fantastic gardeners and have created the most wonderful gardens that I have seen in my life. I hope to learn from them by visiting their gardens and study how they do it to improve my own little green paradise.

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  7. Wow, Hightea, unglaublich schön! Sekt hattet ihr keinen?;))

    Tolle Aufnahmen,d er blaue Salbei brennt richtig in den Augen.

    Sigrun

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    1. Sigrun, English Afternoon Teas are hard to beat, we enjoy them sooo... much. No champagne for me at lunch, I get so easily drunk that I am afraid I wouldn't be able to take sharp photos anymore :-)! The blue sage is really cool, isn't it?

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  8. Muy lindo este jardín. Saludos.

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  9. What a delightful garden - I love the colour schemes in the borders - plenty there for inspiration . Your afternoon tea looks lovely - with such delicious delights to eat. I haven't been to Devon for quite a long time so this post brought back happy memories.

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    1. Elaine, I also love the color scheme in this part of the garden very much! The Afternoon Tea was sooo... good. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water and I want another one. Now we are back home and I am afraid we have to prepare it by ourselves... I am glad, that my post brought back happy memories for you. Devon is truly beautiful county and very versatile as well. We had a wonderful vacation there!

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  10. I didn't realise that you had been back to Devon again - we shall have to make you honorary Devonians. Thank you for the lovely visit to Torre Abbey Gardens, somewhere that I have yet to visit.
    The afternoon tea looked really delicious and very generous.
    Isn't is strange how we always want to grow the plants that do not want to live with us? That happens to be time and time again. I would gladly give you arms full of Ladies Mantle it grows in my garden like a weed, but I do enjoy its colours edging the pathways.
    The clover style plant is Oxalis tetraphylla - sometimes known as Iron Cross.
    The Sage plant you showed reminds me that I have just bought a tricolour one which has purple, green and cream leaves and a touch of pink - it was a delightful and inexpensive find for me.

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    1. Rosemary, many thanks for your nice comment! The Afternoon Tea was very generous indeed.
      Yeah, somehow gardeners seem to have a knack for wanting to grow things that they can't ;-).
      Thank you so much for giving me the name of the Oxalis! I think it is such a cool plant.
      The sage that you got sounds terrific I hope you show a photo of it on your blog soon!

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  11. Now that looks rather lovely, starting with the tea!
    The daisy growing in the wall is Erigeron karvinskianus or Mexican fleabane. I have been looking for some to grow in my own wall but can't find it anywhere, I don't want to go pinching it from the wild even if it does grow like a weed!
    We have visited Agatha Christie's Greenway but missed Torre Abbey, I'll have to go I think.

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    1. Jessica, many thanks for providing me with the proper name of the daisy. I am surprised that you can't find it anywhere in the nurseries, since it seems to be so common in your area.
      Unfortunately we didn't have the time to visit Greenway, but Torre Abbey is truly worth it. You really have to go!

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  12. Thank you, Christina, for sharing your photos of another beautiful garden. I love the plants in this garden! The erigeron karvinskianu is what we call Santa Barbara Daisy and grows all along the central coast of California. I love the cottagey look it gives to a garden. It's also drought tolerant, and is on the UC Davis Arboretum's list of All Stars so should be readily available in CA. I'll be looking forward to more of your photos!

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  13. Thanks for letting me tag along on your visit to Torre Abbey, what a delightful place. And, starting with the afternoon tea and right through to the last photo, I so enjoyed your post, it was almost like being there! I so agree with you about white flowers, I wish I could make a whole garden in just white flowers – if I had another spare garden :-)
    I hope you have a great week, take care, Helene.

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  14. Hi Christina
    Glad I've inspired you for let growing sprouts again
    and what a beauty of a garden you have visited ... I live closer to there, but have never been in Great Britain. Shame :)
    I enjoyed your photos...love to see more..
    Marian

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  15. Liebe Christina,
    was für eine herrliche englische Gartenanlage! Wow!
    Und die Teezeit war wirklich mehr als üppig - aber es sieht sehr, sehr lecker aus!
    Ganz viele liebe gemütliche Wochenendsgrüße
    sendet dir die Urte :-)

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  16. You are so lucky to be able to travel so much. Those first few shots are what I want my garden to look like someday!

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  17. Hallo Christina,
    ich musste gerade mal ein Arbeitspäuschen einlegen und habe es für einen ausgiebigen Spaziergang durch diesen wundervollen Garten in Devon genutzt! Herrliche Bilder, vor allem diese intensiven Blau- und Lilatöne stechen hervor, die besonders zum Hellgrün, das Du so gern magst, ganz wunderbar aussehen.
    Das absolute Highlight ist ja wirklich diese nette Tea Time!!! Hmm, das sieht alles so lecker aus!
    Vielen Dank fürs Mitnehmen, ich habe den Ausflug sehr genossen!

    Liebe Grüße, Bärbel

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  18. Beautiful pictures and lovely garden. I would give a lot to be able to grow Echium pininana!

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  19. Sou beautiful flowers.
    I invite you to my blog: Tales o .., address:http://brzezinowygaj.bloog.pl./

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  20. Hi Christina, this is a lovely garden and the tea takes the cake!

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