It can’t be 48 years!

It can though. Forty eight years ago today, there we were, young and innocent, getting married! We have just had a lovely day out  visiting a garden in the Dartmoor area and then having a fantastic lunch in a nearby hostelry. The under gardener managed to find a super garden, Winsford Walled Garden, he did well, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It has been an historic productive garden from 1890’s but abandoned during the war.It has been recently restored and records show that it was formerly an exotic flower garden.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWinsford Walled Garden Entrance

I could tell straight away that this was going to be a good one.


There were a few conifers mixed in with the perennials, everything was very discreetly staked,  after all the rain that we have had,  without staking, lots of the flowers would be flat like mine!


Such a super big group of Alstromerias, I wonder if mine will ever get to be like this?!

Crocosmia Lucifer and friends

The planting was superb, large groups of any one flower, with shrubs and trees in between.

Lucifer and friends

Lucifer and friends certainly draw the eye!

Dwarf Agapanthus

This is such a beautiful dwarf Agapanthus, only about 2ft high, nothing was labelled and I couldn’t find the owner later to ask what a few of the plants were.

Pots of Eschevera

Pots of Eschevera had been sunk into the border, I’m presuming that they will go into the greenhouse over winter.


What a beautiful blue this Eryngium is, I do wish I could have found out its name.

Winsford walled garden

Winsford walled garden

I’m wondering if this is Francoa, with the pink flowers. If it is, they are 3 times the size of mine!

Victorian glasshouse remains

The remains of the Victorian glasshouses have been turned into a herb garden.

Bamboo grove

The Bamboo grove has 15 varieties of bamboo, some of them huge, 40ft high.

Gunnera manicata

Amongst all the different bamboo, there was a huge Gunnera manicata, it dwarfed me!

At the back of the house

We made it through the bamboo jungle and are now at the back of the house.


In a damp little corner we found some Sarracenia, pitcher plants. We had a look but couldn’t see any flies in there, maybe like me, they were waiting for their lunch.

Greenhouse planting

We were now in the area with the restored  Victorian teak glasshouses, two huge ones. One for tomatoes and the other for exotics.


The cannas were huge, they put my new ones to shame. These though are in huge pots so must be quite an age, or at least, that’s what I’m telling myself!


As well as the Cannas there was a Strelitia, Bird of Paradise flower, the last time I saw one of these was in Maderia, but they were growing out of doors.

Plumbago capensis

Also there were some Plumbago capensis plants. I used to have one in the conservatory here, but no longer unfortunately.

Persicaria Red Dragon

I took this photo to remind me to move my Persicaria Red Dragon. Mine is absolutely pathetic with just one stalk, I don’t think mine liked being under water for a while last winter.  This one is magnificent!

Back to the house

We are almost back to the house now, just one more area to explore.


Round the far side of the house was where they had their hosta collection.


There were only a few holes visible in their hostas, they were looking very good indeed.

Zantedeschia aethiopica

One of my favourites, Zantedeschia aethiopica, such a smart looking plant, it always looks so elegant.

Hosta Sum and Substance

I think this large yellow/green hosta must be Sum and Substance, it is supposed to be slug proof but mine is riddled with holes this year.

That is the end of the garden visit, it was now time to find the Inn where we were booked in for lunch.

Bearslake Inn

We had a fantastic lunch at Bearslake Inn in the village of Lake, in the north west corner of Dartmoor, a lovely old Devon Longhouse with lots of atmosphere. It was formerly a farm and cottages and the restaurant where we had our meal used to be the stables.

Seafood platter

This was my lovely starter, a seafood platter with locally caught crab and prawns, delicious! I’m afraid I was enjoying my food so much, I forgot to photograph my other courses! The Inn prides itself on producing good, fresh, local food, it certainly was wonderful!

Dartmoor ponies

We took a scenic route home after our beautiful lunch, although any route is scenic in Devon! The road we chose crossed Dartmoor and these are a few of the Dartmoor ponies that live on the moor all the time.

Dartmoor ponies

The ponies are rounded up each year so that the foals can be marked with each owners mark, apart from that, they are wild ponies and can wander anywhere on the moor, so care has to be taken while driving.

It was a truly wonderful day, the under gardener really excelled himself with the choice of garden and the inn for our lunch –  thanks R,  it’s been a good 48 years!

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46 Responses to It can’t be 48 years!

  1. Jane Scorer says:

    Congratulations ! 48 years is something to be very proud of !
    The garden looks fantastic, just a shame that nothing was labelled. Out of all the lovely planting, I think my favourite was the hosta garden. Such lovely contrast of foliage !

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Jane, it has flown by! I suppose the owner didn’t like the look of labels everywhere, but she had quite a few unusual plants where they would have helped. The hostas were beautiful, they made a nice contrast to all the flowers.

  2. Cathy says:

    Thanks for sharing that lovely garden with us. So many beautiful plants in there! Congratulations on your anniversary too Pauline!

    • Pauline says:

      It was a beautiful garden Cathy with some quite unusual plants, it was a pleasure wandering around. Thanks for your good wishes!

  3. rusty duck says:

    Congratulations, and what an amazing coincidence.. it is our wedding anniversary today too! 31 years. I’m so glad you had a good day, that garden looks fantastic and I truly love Dartmoor. And thank goodness the weather picked up!
    We went south, to Trebah near Falmouth.

    • Pauline says:

      That is a coincidence Jessica, congratulations to you too! The weather was perfect, not too hot, the garden was very sheltered, out of the cool wind that was blowing and Dartmoor was almost empty of tourists! Trebah must have been wonderful!

  4. Alain says:

    Congratulations! You must have had a lovely day as the garden looks beautiful.
    The picture of the bird of paradise made me think of a friend who had a big Strelitzia in her living room. We wondered how come it bloomed so reliably. It turned out she was playing a trick on us – the plant was real but not the blooms. However they looked so realistic that they fooled many.

    • Pauline says:

      We did have a wonderful time Alain,and the weather was perfect, thank you for your good wishes. Had to laugh at your friends bit of deception with her Strelitzia, they are fantastic flowers but I think they need a lot of heat for them to flower each year.

  5. Congratulations, Pauline! What a wonderful day out for 48 years! This does look like a first rate garden… just the right size to wander in comfortably, but not get lost in. And thank you for the introduction to Francoa… looks lovely though I could not grow it for long here.

    My anniversary is just three days before yours, but quite a few years after since we just celebrated our 12th. Ah, to be wandering in a truly English garden for my 48th! I will look forward to it 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      I’m not sure it is Francoa Julie, I will have to get my books out today and try to find it, it is so much bigger than mine.
      Time flies by Julie, before you know it, you will be celebrating big anniversaries too! Thank you for your good wishes.

  6. Helle (Helen) says:

    Congratulations, Pauline, 48 years, quite an achievement in this day and age. Sounds and looks like you had a fab day. I might be able to help you with the eryngium, I have one that looks exactly the same, judging by the photos, it is called Eryngium zabellii Big Blue. I love eryngiums, we have just spent 10 days in Norfolk/Suffolk and I finally managed to get Miss Wilmott’s Ghost.

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Helle, I suppose it is an achievement these days, hope we make 50!
      Thank you so much for the name of the Eryngium, I will have to see if I can find it here as it was such a gorgeous blue.

  7. Chloris says:

    Congratulations Pauline. It sounds as if you had a wonderful day out. And what a find that garden was. I know what you mean about knowing if a garden is going to be good as soon as you walk in. You develop a nose for it.
    I think maybe the Eryngium is probably Eryngium zabelii ‘ Jos eijking’ which is a strong metallic blue and gorgeous.
    The pink flower is certainly Francoa sonchilfolia. As it is so tall perhaps it is ‘ Pink Giant’.
    Thank you for the lovely photos of a fabulous garden.

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you so much Chloris, we did have a wonderful day. Even where we parked our car had interesting planting, I felt straight away that I was going to like the garden.
      Many thanks with your identification of the mystery plants, I will have to peruse the seed catalogues to see if I can find them, I don’t think the local garden centre will stock them.

  8. Hey Pauline,
    Thanks for stopping by again. Congrats to you crazy kiddos. So much to love here I don’t know where to start. But that’s one heckuva bunch of alstroemaria. Strong color seemed to echoed by ‘Lucifer’. Also loved the relics of the greenhouse. Look like a good time had by all, my friend.

    • Pauline says:

      Lovely to hear from you Patrick, we did have a super time, the years have just flown by since that day 48 yrs ago!
      It was a really beautiful garden that we visited, everywhere so neat and tidy and the plants all looked as if they enjoyed living there!

  9. Sigrun says:

    Pauline, my best wishes – such a long time, you can be proud.
    Tis is a very nice garden, and in the moor we where 2007, I love it very much.


    • Pauline says:

      Thank you so much Sigrun, nice to hear from you! It was a super garden and we certainly enjoyed it. How wonderful that you visited Dartmoor a few years ago, lovely place to be in the summer but in winter it gets very cold and quite often they have so much snow that the villages are cut off for some time.

  10. Annette says:

    Well done and congrats, Pauline, and how nice to celebrate this remarkable occasion with a visit to a beautiful garden. I knew straight away you’d like it because it’s very similar to your own with great structure and attention to good foliage combinations. Thanks for sharing the pictures 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      You’re too kind Annette, it was a lot neater and tidier than mine! We had a super day, the weather was good, the food superb and the garden gave me inspiration, what more could anyone want!

  11. Sally says:

    Congratulations on 48 years of wedded bliss! My hubby and I are married 44 years. I couldn’t imagine it any other way. Such a wonderful way to celebrate your wedding anniversary.
    Thank you for the garden tour. What a beautiful place! Your mind must be full of ideas.

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you so much Sally, we were both lucky in finding the right one first time! It was a wonderful day with a perfect garden to enjoy and yes I have been inspired to alter a couple of things here!

  12. Anna says:

    Many, many congratulations to you both Pauline. So glad to read that such a special day was filled with fun, good food and flowers xxx

    • Pauline says:

      It was a wonderful day Anna, thank you so much. We both enjoyed ourselves so much even though the under gardener claims he doesn’t enjoy gardening!

  13. debsgarden says:

    Congratulations on your 48th anniversary! I was picturing myself there as I wandered through your photos. Magnificent! What a special way to spend a special day. I would have been thrilled over the ponies. Your photos are fabulous!

    I have a pot of persicaria with one main stalk and a tiny new one just coming up. I am trying to decide where to put it. From the photo it seems theirs is in full sun, but here I think mine will need partial shade. I want it to be beautiful!

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Deb! It was a lovely garden to wander through, so many lovely unusual flowers. The Dartmoor ponies are quite famous here, but people are told not to feed them as it encourages them to come to the roadside.
      The persicaria was amazing, yes it seemed to have sun for most of the day but I think it might wilt in the heat of your summer if it didn’t have a bit of shade!

  14. Congratulations Pauline, and what a lovely way to celebrate. Those densely packed borders are wonderful, what a find of a garden. I do love snaking paths surrounded by lush planting. And that herb garden has a real Secret Garden feel to it, pure magic.

    • Pauline says:

      It was a wonderful day. thank you Janet. The borders were so colourful with lots still to come, obviously planted by someone who knew exactly what they were doing. The herb garden had so many lovely herbs, some of which I wasn’t familiar with, but maybe from the far east as the lady was from that part of the world.

  15. Frank says:

    Congratulations to the two of you! What a nice day out. The garden, the countryside, the weather… all look perfect. I wish you many more years together, and thanks for sharing the day. I always like to see an old garden restored and attention paid to the history.

    • Pauline says:

      Everything was perfect Frank, it was a super day! Thank you for your good wishes, time has flown by, it doesn’t seem like 48 yrs at all. The history of the garden was interesting with it being an exotic garden, usually in the early 20th century, walled gardens were used for growing vegetables.Then the first World War meant that lots of labourers went off to fight and unfortunately never returned. It took someone nearly 100 yrs later to rescue it and what a good job they have done.

  16. Congratulations on your 48 years of marriage Pauline! What a fabulous way to celebrate as well, the gardens look absolutely stunning, full of lush planting. So glad you had a great day 🙂 .

    • Pauline says:

      We had a wonderful time, thank you Paula! Many thanks for stopping by and leaving a message, its always good to meet someone new!

  17. Caro says:

    48 years! Now that IS something to celebrate! Congratulations and so pleased to hear that your day was marked with a special garden. What a beautiful place – I especially loved the bamboo grove; how wonderful to have the space to let bamboo grow like that (without fear of it taking over!) So many gorgeous plants to see and photograph, looks like the garden was planned to have a new surprise around every corner. An excellent renovation. Lovely to see your photos of Dartmoor too, my parents lived on the edge of Dartmoor for a short while, just above Plymouth, and I loved to visit! Thanks for sharing!

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you so much Caro, it couldn’t have been better!
      The bamboo grove was amazing, I could see a few shoots coming up about 3 ft away from the parents, I wonder what they do with them? The garden certainly did have lots of surprises, a “wow” round every corner.
      Dartmoor is such a lovely place, there was a chilly wind when we got higher up, but the scenery is always beautiful, I’m not surprised you loved visiting!

  18. Angie says:

    I’m a tad late at congratulating you both on 48 years. Had my father still been alive, my parents would have been celebrating their 48 years a few days before you.
    The under gardener certainly picked a winner didn’t he? A garden like this would be my ideal, if only I could win the lottery!
    I was going to suggest a name for the Eryngium as E. bourgatii Graham Stuart Thomas as it looks awfully like mine but as others have offered an alternative, I bow to their experience.
    I’m off now to study the pictures in more detail – there’s lots of inspiration there!

    • Pauline says:

      I will make a note of your name for the Eryngium and put it with the others, many thanks for your suggestion, I will now have some homework to do!
      I don’t know how the under gardener found this garden, which I had never heard of, but he has a lot to live up to for next year!
      Best wishes are welcome any time Angie, thank you so much for yours.

  19. cheryl says:

    Amazing gardens, beautifully kept. I love the bamboo, well structured, and real statement planting.
    Lovely thatch on the pub, and your lunch looked delicious.
    Wonderful way to celebrate 48 years….congratulations.

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you Cheryl for your good wishes, it certainly was a very special day. Walking through the bamboo was an experience with the wind rustling through the leaves. I loved the planting with large groups of each plant, they made such an statement, I loved it!

  20. Cathy says:

    I am late in congratulating you too, Pauline -well done to you both! The Golfer has promised to live to at least 104 so we can have 50+ years together as we have some catching up to do – soon goes though, as your 48 years will have done! And what a lovely day out you had – that garden would appeal to me too. It would have been interesting to know how they avoided slug and snail damage to their hostas, wouldn’t it? I had to smile when I read you didn’t get beyond photographing your starter as you were enjoying your meal so much 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      Well, we are all living longer Cathy, so you might make your50th! Time flies by these days, I don’t know where all the years have gone, thank you for your good wishes, it really was a lovely day.
      The hostas had a few little nibbles, but they weren’t very noticeable, they looked very good indeed in spite of the wall behind them being a good hiding place for snails.
      Yes the meal was wonderful too, the undergardener did us both proud with what he found for us!

  21. wellywoman says:

    Congratulations on 48 years of marriage! What a lovely way to celebrate too. That looks like my kind of garden and I do love Dartmoor – it’s such an atmospheric place.

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you so much Louise, visiting a lovely garden made it the perfect outing. The garden was stunning and certainly my type of garden, the under gardener did well!
      I agree that Dartmoor is such an atmospheric place, the weather can change so quickly there, we were lucky to have such good weather. Everything came together to make a fantastic day!

  22. Belated congratulations on another happy year! The under gardener is obviously still very sweet on you to plan such a lovely day.

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you so much Marian, I think we both think each other pretty special still! I don’t know how he managed to find a garden that I’d never heard of, I thought I knew them all in Devon, he certainly did well!

  23. Christina says:

    Pauline, many congratulation, sorry I missed this post, it ended up in my spam box (I don’t check it very often). I’m so pleased you had a lovely day out, as you say the under gardener did well! Christina

    • Pauline says:

      Don’t worry Christina, I wonder how I got into your spam box, thank you for rescuing me!
      The years have just flown by and are going even faster now. We did have a super day, everything was perfect, including the under gardener!

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