New Sidmouth gardens join National Gardens Scheme

Two new gardens in Sidmouth open next month under the National Gardens Scheme to raise funds for charity

TWO new gardens in Sidmouth are opening next month to raise funds for charity under the National Gardens Scheme.

They are Runnymede, Orchard Close, Manor Road, Sidmouth, home of Veronica Wood, and 44 Woolbrook Park, Sidmouth, home of Barbara and Alan Mence.

There is a combined admission of �4 for the two gardens, which will open Saturdays and Sundays, on May 14/15, June 18/19 and September 3/4 from 11am to 5pm.

Dr Mence and his wife Barbara own a quarter of an acre of NW facing sloping garden “generously planted with trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs for year-round interest,” says the NGS guide.


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A zig-zag path rises gently to woodland and there are benches at every corner and a summerhouse looks towards wooded hills.

“I was a very new gardener when we moved here six years ago and it was a huge challenge,” said Barbara, who added: “My husband looks after the vegetable patch and lawn and I do the rest.”

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She has tried to make the garden easier to contain by adding the winding path and retaining walls and steps.

“The idea is to come from top to bottom on flat paths so your feet are not on the slant,” she said.

With magnolias, acers, hydrangeas and abundance of plants, there will be plenty to enjoy at Runnymede garden, which, unlike Woolbrook Park, is wheel-chair friendly. Home-made teas are also offered.

NGS describes the garden as: “Artistically landscaped around a series of circles, pools and rills.”

*Other gardens in the Sidmouth area open under the NGS scheme are Hillrise, 24 Windsor Mead, Sidford, which next opens on May 21/22 from 1.30pm to 5.30pm, Littlecourt Cottages, Seafield Road, Sidmouth, open Sunday May 22 and June 19 from 2-5pm, The Old Dairy, Sidbury, open Saturday and Sunday, May 14/15 from 2-6pm and 1 Tipton Lodge, Tipton St John, which opens from 11am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday, June 25/26.

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