"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

East Devon - Day 6, Wednesday, 22nd June - Bicton Park Botanical Gardens Part 1

On Wednesday we visited the historic Bicton Park Botanical Gardens - it is easy to spend a day there as there is so much to see and do. The gardens date back to the early 18th century when in 1735 Henry, the first Baron Rolle, built an Italian Garden based on a plan thought to have been prepared by Andre Le Notre, Versailles designer.

Between 1800 and 1845 the park began to resemble the gardens and parkland we see today. The Temple, Orangery, Great Lake, Palm House, Arboretum, Pinetum, Hermitage, American Garden and Shell House were created. The Hon. Louise Trefusis, daughter of the 2nd Lord Clinton, became the second wife of Lord John Rolle in 1922. She had a huge influence in Bicton's development as an important botanical resource filling the park with trees and shrubs. The gardens now have a collection of more than 11,000 trees.

In 1963 the gardens were opened to the public by Gerard, 22nd Baron of Clinton. In 1986 the park was given to an independent charitable trust company and in 1998 it was sold to new owners Simon and Valerie Lister.

As you can see it was very misty when we arrived - in fact, the light was quite peculiar for taking photos.

The gardens contain several glasshouses - The Palm House, Temperate House, Tropical House and Arid House. Unfortunately I failed to keep a record of what photo was taken in which glasshouse!





Then into the American Garden with its Shell House and super collection of trees.

The Stream Garden

The Italian Garden

Isn't this Peony gorgeous?

Path through the Mediterranean Garden

This looks like Beech Mast to me? - seems incredibly early!

I spotted a Red Admiral fluttering around the nurseries - sadly, very few butterflies were seen on the holiday.

We then returned to the car for lunch - shared by a friendly Robin!


Pied Wagtail


In the afternoon we went on a 30 minute train ride on the Bicton Woodland railway which takes you through the Pinetum and up to the Hermitage returning alongside the lake. The railway is one of only two 18 inch narrow gauge railways still operating in the UK.





Apologies for the vast amount of photos again but I do tend to keep this as a personal record of our holidays/day's out. We also visited a superb Countryside Museum in the Gardens and I popped into the Church of St Mary also in the grounds but I will write about that in another post. The Gardens really were good value for money although you had to pay a little extra for the train ride!!


A Small Magpie Moth on the cottage wall spotted as we left in the morning. I had also seen a Blood Vein attracted to the porch light the evening before. I wish I could have taken the moth trap but with 4 of us travelling there is never room in the boot.


Photos marked *D were taken by D with the Canon SX50


Margaret Adamson said...

Yes like you I make my blog for my personal record adn as a memory aslater one i may forget somethings! Well this is one special garden andso much to see, You could spend days there adn it was lovely tht they even had a railway line up to the Pinteum. Wonderful post.

Ragged Robin said...

Margaret Adamson - Thanks very much Margaret. I do keep a written diary but the beauty of blogging is that you can combine photos and text plus I also enjoy re-reading the guidebooks from places we went to when I write the post! :)

Ian said...

A most enjoyable stroll with you through the gardens a great way to see what we missed. We were in Tasmania in May and spent a pleasant morning in the Royal Tasmanian botanical Gardens in Hobart, not quite as old as Bicton Park but established two years after the Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney which is celebrating its two hundred year anniversary this year. I am way behind on posting blogs in Japara Ranging where I intended to record our holiday trips and other notes away from the back yard. Your detailed posts are quite amazing, well done.

Ragged Robin said...

Ian - Thanks so much for your very kind comment Ian. To be honest I am struggling to catch up at the moment with posts!! Your visit to the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens sounds very interesting - hope you get chance at some stage to do a blog post on it. Are you recording holiday trips etc. on your normal blog or a new one? as I would love to read all about your day's out. It would be so interesting to read more about Australia.

Wendy said...

I love visiting botanical gardens - so I would enjoy wandering around here. The tropical houses always fascinate me the most, I think - with the plants I could never grow at home.

Ragged Robin said...

Wendy - Thanks very much Wendy. Too much to see and do at the gardens in one day which was a shame as there was also a nature trail and I would have liked to walk round the pinetum and arboretum more. Glass houses there were excellent :)

Millymollymandy said...

I haven't heard of this place - looks like somewhere I would enjoy visiting. In the meantime I enjoyed my virtual visit with you and seeing your lovely photos! :-)

Ragged Robin said...

Millymollymandy - Thanks Mandy - its not far from Newton Poppleford!! Interestingly enough a friend I went out with last week who has been holidaying every year for years and years in East Devon had never heard of it either! Well worth a visit so much to see and do there. I wish we had had more time to explore the grounds.