Visitors ‘stunned’ by garden glory

A Sidmouth woman showed off her blooms and her borders in the garden once described as Sidmouth’s Alhambra as she threw open her doors as part of the Open Garden scheme last weekend.

Veronica Wood, who lives in Manor Road, welcomed 121 visitors to her quarter acre garden, compared to the Moorish palace in Granada, Spain, and raised over �500 for the National Garden Scheme.

This will be shared out among national charities including Macmillan Cancer Reserach, Marie Curie, Hospiscare and the National Trust.

After winning the cup for the Sidmouth in Bloom competition two years ago, Mrs Wood was inspired to open her garden to the public as a testament to her late husband Bill, a passionate gardener who had mobility problems in later years.

Many of the plants which now thrive there were collected by him, and the level paths were designed with him in mind.

The initial landscaping was done by Naila Green, a gold medal winner at the RHS Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Show.

Because of its “rill” and circular pools the grounds have been compared to the Alhambra Palace in Andalucia.

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Mrs Wood says this is a “gross exaggeration” but noted that visitors last weekend were “stunned” by the water features along with the advanced state of many of the plants which thrive in Sidmouth’s mild climes.

The garden will be open again on the weekend of June 30 to July 1.