Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Abbotsbury Subtropical Garden

On the first day of our holiday we visited Abbotsbury Subtropical Garden.  It is somewhere that I have wanted to go to for many years and finally we made it!

Originally it was the kitchen garden for the castle of the Countess of Ilchester and was established in 1765.  Since then it has been developed into the 30 acre garden that is here today.  It is filled with rare and exotic plants from around the world.  After the great storm in 1990 a lot of restoration had to be undertaken and the opportunity was taken to introduce many new and unusual flowers and plants to the garden.

Now, you might want to grab a cuppa and just sit back and enjoy as there are a lot of photos here!  I have added a few annotations here and there and will sum up at the end!  Please bear with me and remember that I have cut this down from several hundred pictures!!

The gardens are stunning and this is the sight that greets you on your arrival into the garden.  Isn't it wonderful!

Everywhere really does look so tropical, it is just like being in paradise, but without the long flights!

There were soooooo many beautiful flowers everywhere.  I took way too many pictures, so if you think this is a lot....

This beauty cannot be ignored though can it.

Wendy, this mossy log is just for you!  I thought of you as soon as I saw it.  I hope that your mossy log will do well again this year!

You can just see the chapel on the hill between the trees and you can read more about it from the information sign below.

See, I told you I took a lot of flower pictures!!!

There were masses of ferns everywhere as well.  We are building a collection of ferns in our garden so we really enjoyed seeing these.  The tree below is a type of cherry, and the bark is fabulous isn't it.

A new feature at the gardens for this year is the Rope Bridge.  It is quite long and comes up really high either side.  The sides were at my head height as I walked across.

Yes, we made it all the way across!

And we didn't have to turn back!  Just as well really.  At least we weren't crossing shark or crocodile infested waters!  Just the odd waterlilly!!

These ferns are shuttlecock ferns.  Very aptly named aren't they!

There were several of these log benches which had amazing carved animals on them.

Aren't they wonderful!

You can see these maps of the garden all around the place, but we just wandered and were not worried about where we went.  There was an arrowed route to see the very best of the garden at that time as well.  I imagine that changes seasonally.

This pool looked almost prehistoric to me.

With the island of tree ferns and the fallen tree left leaning into the pond and with plants growing on it.

There were a lot of these plants.  They are called Gunnera and grow to an enormous size as you will see in a moment.

Here you can see hubby's arm.  It doesn't even reach all the way across the leaf and this is not full size.  The stems get taller than a person!  Hubby keeps wanting to have one of these plants, and I have to remind him that we don't have an acre or so to plant one!!  One day in his dreams perhaps.

This tree above in the picture below this sign is a Cork Oak that you can read more about below.

This is the gardeners "bothy" or tool shed.

An unusual sight is the Kookaburra's.  I had no idea that these birds were here and we kept hearing them, but could not work out what was making the very unusual noise that is made by a Kookaburra.

These are here as part of a rescue program.

That is it for the walk around the gardens!  I hope that you enjoyed it and got a flavour of what the gardens have to offer.

All in all I would definitely recommend visiting the garden to anyone, whether you have a love of plants or not.  It is just a great day out and I imagine would be great for children and adults alike as there is so much to see and do.  The ice cream is delicious too!!

I expect that later in the year it is even lusher and greener as the trees get more leaves and no doubt there are other great flowers to see as well.

There is also the famous swannery nearby to visit, plus the village of Abbotsbury, so lots to see and do.

So if you are ever in the area or have the chance to visit, I would definitely recommend it!

This is not a sponsored post by the way, we paid full price to get in - which was annoying as when we got home I discovered that there was a half price entry voucher in my gardening magazine.  Grrr!  Only a small irritation though.

If I get the chance to go again with my half price voucher I most certainly will!!