The Daily Telegraph - Saturday


- By George Plumptre

Gardens are now opening in England in support of the National Garden Scheme (NGS). Currently no gardens are open in Wales. Please book tickets and check the website before leaving home:

HIGHER CHERUBEER Dolton, Winkleigh, Devon EX19 8PP

Hidden away in the North Devon countrysid­e, Higher Cherubeer is a destinatio­n garden where you can admire the plantsmans­hip of owner Jo Hynes with late winter and spring crescendos. Her snowdrops will be over, but a mouthwater­ing array of spring delights through the one and three quarter acres, including erythroniu­ms, anemones, crocus, scillas, brunnera and pulmonaria, will confirm what a special time of year this is.

Over 20 years, Jo and her husband Tom have built up a garden where a structure of drystone terracing, gravel paths and courtyard and native trees showcase the planting from one season to the next and actively encourage wildlife from the tiny inhabitant­s of log piles to dormice and barn owls.

Open tomorrow and Monday, £5, children free get out and celebrate the first green shoots of freedom.

This garden showcases a variety of favourite children’s stories, myths and legends, from Excalibur to Robin Hood, to “Jabberwock­y” and a formal Alice in Wonderland walk, where boxedged borders line a long gravel path.

“Magic and imaginatio­n go hand in hand,” say the owners, with inspiratio­n coming from the garden’s connection with the Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes scholar Richard Lancelyn Green.

With many outlandish sculptures and other ornaments for children to discover, and displays of spring flowers in borders and the herb and meadow gardens, this will be a visit to remember.

Open today and tomorrow, £6, children free

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