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Knighthayes Court

Visits > Past Visit Reports and Pictures > Devon & Cornwall Reports
This National Trust house, garden and parkland, was the last stop on our return from the five-day Devon and Cornwall visit and where we were free to explore.
The first stop for me was the restored and very productive Victorian walled garden. The south-facing slope is laid out with paths to the central pond, numerous beds for cut flowers, to be used in the house, and fruit and vegetables produced using organic principles for the restaurant and the shop.
The various scarecrows made each year added amusement, but a notice warned us that they were not very effective, some birds using them as perches!

There are plans for a tropical border for exotics. So much has been achieved since my visit several years ago.
We walked through the parkland towards the house built between 1869 and 1874 and to the formal garden and the conservatory. Here we were greeted by a Garden Volunteer who lent us a laminated guide to the special plants.
The ‘fun’ topiary hounds chasing the topiary fox on the top of the yew hedge are on the left of the path and on the right is the paved colourful alpine garden with a pair of standard Wisteria sinensis in flower either side of the large lead cistern. A larger grassed area framed by hedges with a circular pool backed by the weeping silver pear, was calm and such a contrast.

The path led up steps to the Woodland garden, where I was delighted to see the remembered short various coloured irises.We were able to find most of the ‘specialities’ Peony ‘Black Pirate, Trilium sessile with red upright petals, T. grandiflorium with magnificent white flowers, and the Cornus ‘Porlock in Michael’s Wood.
It was good to sit on a seat in the sun and listen to the bird song before heading back to the coach and home after this interesting and enjoyable garden tour.
Judith Codrington

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