Easter Monday sunshine.

The sunshine on Easter Monday tempted us out to our first garden visit of the year. Having looked at the National Garden Scheme website for Devon, we soon found a garden the other side of Exeter which appealed with Magnolias, Camellias, Rhododendrons and Azaleas in bloom.

Haldon Grange

A bit of history about the place. Originally Haldon House was built in 1735 by Sir George Chudleigh,  it was built in the style of Buckingham House in St. James’ Park -now Buckingham Palace – and had 36 bedrooms. The grounds were designed by Lancelot Capability Brown.

Haldon Grange

After a lot of family misfortune, the house was put up for sale but due to the lack of a buyer, most of the house was demolished in 1925. The north wing survived and is now the Lord Haldon Hotel.

Haldon Grange camellia

The pleasure garden of the old Haldon House is now where the present Haldon Grange was built and the gardens are open each spring for the National Garden Scheme -the Yellow Book.

Haldon Grange

The garden is laid out on the side of a sheltered valley, a bit uneven under foot, but we managed to walk round most of it. There was colour everywhere from all the shrubs and trees, a feast for the eyes at every corner.

Haldon Grange

The weather was perfect, brilliant sunshine and a bright blue sky, no coats were needed, the birds were singing and bees and butterflies were everywhere. We kept seeing a yellow Brimstone butterfly, was it 4 or 5 different ones or was it the same one each time?!

Camellia at Haldon Grange

Some of the camellias, magnolias and rhododendrons were such huge shrubs, almost trees.

Lakeside at Haldon Grange

The lakeside was fed by a stream with numerous pools, tumbling down the hillside. The Gunnera are just beginning to start their growth where they will form huge umbrella like leaves.

Fritillaria at Haldon Grange

When I saw the sign with an arrow pointing to Fritillaries I’m sure you would understand that I got quite excited, but they were all white – do they get rid of any with purple flowers?

Fritillaries at Haldon Grange

I only saw about 5 purple fritillaries, so was a little disappointed. I know if buying the bulbs, the white ones cost quite a bit more than the purple ones, but I think the two colours look so nice together, also you can see the chequered pattern on the purple ones but it doesn’t show up on the white ones. By scattering my seed, I get a few white ones in amongst the purple, so that keeps me happy.

Haldon Grange

The present day Haldon Grange has a wonderful setting, benefitting from the wonderful garden that was left after the original house was demolished.

Magnolia Haldon  Grange

Seeing so many gorgeous Magnolias has made me determined to squeeze one in here somewhere. Having so many huge trees here, it will be a problem where to put one, but I’m sure I can find a spot somewhere.

Haldon Grange memorial

We had a lovely cup of tea at the side of the lily pond, but no cake because we had a super piece of Easter cake before we left and had no room for more! The memorial remembers the members of staff who went off to the First World War and unfortunately didn’t return.

We had a wonderful afternoon out in glorious sunshine – it was perfect!

This entry was posted in News and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Easter Monday sunshine.

  1. Jane Scorer says:

    What a lovely spring garden ! It all looks lovely and the white snake’s head fritillaries look particularly interesting, but, like you, I am a real sucker for the chequered purple ones. To me it is that pattern which makes them so unique.

    • Pauline says:

      It was such a pretty garden Jane, such a wonderful blast of colour, wherever I looked. In the bright sunshine, the strong colours seemed just right. We think alike where fritillaries are concerned, I think just a few white ones amongst all the lovely purple ones make them stand out.

  2. rusty duck says:

    It does look a lovely place. Another magnolia (or two) features on my list too.

    • Pauline says:

      I’m surprised that we hadn’t heard about this garden before Jessica, it was a lovely place to visit. I’ve been looking to see where I can fir a magnolia in, I think I’ve found the spot!

  3. Cathy says:

    How lovely to be visiting when the rhododendrons and camellias were out – and the fritillaries of course! I like to see the white ones too but as you say the lack of the chequerboard pattern is always a disappointment – so a mix is probably better. I believe there is a colony of white ones in a protected SSSI quite near us, but p to now there has been no public access although I think that might have changed and must check it out. I have noticed recently that the fritillaries I have are taller in the shadiest areas – is it the same with you?

    • Pauline says:

      It was a lovely garden to visit Cathy, all the bright colours looked wonderful in the amazing sunshine we had. Having looked at my fritillaries, I definitely prefer mostly purple with the odd one or two white ones. I don’t know if you remember last year when I did a post about the top of one of our oaks that came down in a gale, the fritillaries this year are in a lot more sunshine than before, all mine are much taller than the ones we saw on Monday, I suppose they have shade for about half the day.

  4. pbmgarden says:

    Wonderful way to spend such a gorgeous day. That blue sky is exquisite. I like the white fritillaries growing in the grass, but am surprised at their height. Thought they were very tall plants.

    • Pauline says:

      The blue sky was amazing Susie, with the hot sunshine it didn’t seem like April in England! My fritillaries are much taller than the white ones we saw on Monday, but then, mine are in the woodland and not in full sun like theirs were, I think usually mine are about 18 inches/ 2ft tall.

  5. Sigrun says:

    Lovely spring garden, Pauline. Your header is great, I would have such a mass of Fritillaria meleagris – but I have only four, the mouse …


    • Pauline says:

      Oh no, Sigrun, how sad that the mice got your fritillaries! Thank you for your comments about my header, this was a photo taken in the garden last year. Have you tried sprinkling the seed, maybe they would stand more of a chance of surviving, rather than planting bulbs? I just sprinkle the seed each year, that is why I managed to have so many in just a few years, but I started off with a few bulbs.

  6. Alison says:

    Sounds like a very pleasant garden visit. I love my few purple Fritillarias best. I do have one white clump, but I prefer the checkered purple. I’m going to try sowing the seeds from them this yer.

    • Pauline says:

      It was lovely place to visit Alison, and the weather made it perfect! I have had some really good results just sprinkling the seed, its certainly easier than growing them in pots! Where I sprinkle the seed is fairly moist even in the summer as it is the lowest part of the woodland, I think they like the moisture.

  7. Chloris says:

    Beautiful, what a lovely day out. I agree about the fritillaries though. I have a clump of whites bit I much prefer the purples. Have you decided which Magnolia you will get yet?

    • Pauline says:

      No Chloris, I haven’t decided which Magnolia to buy yet, that is part of the pleasure of gardening isn’t it, taking time to make the decision,leafing through catalogues, or browsing the internet?! I’m pleased to see that so far, we all agree that we like the purple fritillaries best!

  8. Christina says:

    your Easter weather was certainly warmer than ours! Even a quick walk was most unpleasant. thanks for sharing your lovely day out.

    • Pauline says:

      We were told that our lovely warm, sunny spell had come from you Christina! It is still lovely weather, but for how much longer I wonder! The weather certainly made the day out on Monday, just perfect.

  9. Alain says:

    I suppose they mostly planted white fritillaries and they self seeded. The garden looks wonderful.

  10. Cathy says:

    It looks lovely there Pauline, with lots of early spring colour. I rather like the white fritillaries in the green grass, and isn’t that grass green! It’s good to be reminded of what’s to come! Luckily our neighbour has a lovely Magnolia tree I can enjoy, but they are one of those ‘must-haves’, aren’t they. Hope you find space for one. You were lucky to have nice warm sunshine for your garden visit – we had such an icy cold wind over Easter I think everyone stayed at home here!

    • Pauline says:

      Lucky you Cathy, able to enjoy next doors Magnolia! Our lovely warm, sunny spell is going to continue until the weekend, so they say, then it will get a lot cooler for the weekend. I hope your weather soon warms up for you.

  11. catmint says:

    thanks for bringing us along with you, Pauline.

  12. snowbird says:

    What a lovely place, wonderful to see so much in bloom. I do love magnolias and bought three this year to put in my new hedgerow. I much prefer the purple fritillaries too, they look like snakes heads! The white ones appear more like snowdrops from a distance.xxx

    • Pauline says:

      It was a good visit Dina, so lovely to be out in the hot sunshine, without a coat! It’s true I think, the white fritillaries don’t have the appeal of the purple ones, but theirs were so small too, not like my tall ones!

  13. Alberto says:

    Hi Pauline! Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about planting a spring flowering magnolia in my garden too! They look so beautiful in bloom! They shouldn’t be that fussy to grow, I see large specimens everywhere I look, even in the most neglected gardens… What type of magnolia would you like?

    • Pauline says:

      Now that is the question Alberto! I’m trying to convince myself that I can squeeze in 3 magnolias, so I think they should be very different in their flowers. I’m enjoying searching the internet at the moment, but I like too many, how to cut it down to just 3?!

Comments are closed.