Gardens around Teignbridge are opening to the public this weekend and through the summer as part of the National Gardens Scheme.

The extensive gardens at Heathercombe, near Manaton, will be a riot of colour with  bluebells, rhododendrons, azaleas, apple blossom and fresh green spring foliage. The natural setting includes cascading streams, still ponds and a lake. Teas and coffees are available or visitors can sit and enjoy a picnic on the many benches around the grounds, in the summerhouses on the lake or in the orchard and ‘glade’. Heatherombe Gardens are open this weekend (May 18-19) and then every day except Monday until June 2.

The lake and summerhouse at Heathercombe Gardens near Manaton
The lake at Heathercombe Gardens, near Manaton (Contributed)

Also on the edge of Dartmoor is Sutton Mead where visitors can enjoy late spring bulbs, rhododendrums and azaleas as well as a mature orchard, vegetable garden, woodland, a bog garden and an unusual concrete gothic greenhouse. Sutton Mead is open this weekend (May 18-19).

At Haytor two very different gardens are open: Haytor House and Brambly Wood. Haytor House was designed as a project for horticultural students in the 1930s with three distinctive garden ‘rooms’. Meanwhile, Brambly Wood is a one-acre garden packed with herbaceous borders, a pond and tranquil seating areas.

Haldon Grange, near Dunchideock, has 19 acres of peaceful gardens with some parts dating back to the 1770s. Not only are there amazing views, but also a lake, cascading ponds, a six-acre arboretum, a large lilac circle and a wisteria pergola along with a large collection of rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias and camellias. Visitors must book tickets in advance for the open days which take place over the bank holiday weekend 25-27 May and on June 1-2.

Meanwhile, at Kenn, Bickham House is opening its six acres to the public this Sunday (May 19) and on June 23, July 21, August 4 and 18 and September 8. Bickham features a lily pond, walled vegetable and flower garden, a cactus and succulent greenhouse and a palm tree avenue leading to the millennium summerhouse.

Entry to most of the gardens in the scheme is around £6 for adults and free for children and the money raised goes to nursing and health charities.