Sidmouth's Secluded Gardens

PROGRAMMES to visit this year s selection of Sidmouth s Secluded Gardens are now available from the town s information centre at the Ham.

PROGRAMMES to visit this year's selection of Sidmouth's Secluded Gardens are now available from the town's information centre at the Ham.

This popular annual event, run by Sidmouth in Bloom, offers nine gardens to visit this year, from Jasmine Cottage in Weston, where teas are on offer, to the peaceful gardens of Middle Hamecot, Manstone Lane, Sidmouth.

On from Thursday, July 1 to Tuesday, July 6, admission is by programme only and �5 admits one person to each of the nine properties.

Proceeds will go to Sidmouth in Bloom, which is feeling the pinch this year because it has to find nearly �2,000 extra to pay for watering 27 troughs and 24 hanging baskets around the town.

This was, until this year, done by East Devon District Council's StreetScene garden staff. Now the committee will pay Boyces nursery, which supplies plants for the town's displays, to undertake this work.

"We have to raise money for that, as well as planting out. The committee is helping to plant out, but there is quite a lot to look after," said Bloom president Joy Seward.

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To help raise funds the committee held a special Cupcake coffee morning recently, using bone china cups and saucers and white lace tablecloths.

"Everyone said how wonderful it was," said Joy, whose husband Colin made nearly 200 cupcakes.

The committee hopes to encourage more people to become a Friend of Sidmouth in Bloom. An annual subscription of �12 gives access to discounted items at many of Sidmouth's shops.

For more information contact Veronica Argyle (01395) 577697, e-mail:

As well as running its own garden competition (see separate panel), Sidmouth in Bloom has entered South West in Bloom. Judging will take place in July.

Veronica said: "Judges are not simply looking for pretty flowers. They will be awarding marks for the town's overall appearance and looking out for evidence of collaboration between groups engaged in clearing sites or perhaps tree planting in the community.