With two local gardens opening their gates for the first time in September, it's the perfect time to discover somewhere new and take a stroll amongst the chrysthaneums and be the first to see the leaves turn their autumnal shades of red...

Blanksmill (3rd September)

A delightful garden located near Blanksmill Creek in a beautiful corner of rural Devon. Developed from a clear plot of land over nine years, you can spend a relaxing afternoon enjoying the landscaped gardens with orchards and wildlife areas whilst helping to raise funds for St Luke's Hospice. Refreshments, plant sales and a raffle will all be offer and dogs are welcome on leads. Admission is £5 for adults and children free. Open 2pm - 5pm, from the A381 Kingsbridge to Salcombe road, take the Oldaway / Woolston turning and follow the orange arrows.

Ash Park (9th & 10th September)

Open for just two days in aid of the National Garden Scheme charities and the Chivelstone Church Restoration Fund. Set in a stunning location with a 180 degree view of the sea, Ash Park nestles at the foot of the escarpement, with 3 1/2 acres of sub-tropical gardens, paths to explore, woodland glades, ponds and hidden seating areas. In September you can enjoy the cannas, hydrangeas, salvias and dahlias looking their best. There is limited access for wheelchairs and dogs are welcome. Admission is £5 for adults and children free. Home-made teas will be available to purchase too - yummy! Open 11am - 5pm Ash Park is located in East Prawle (TQ7 2BX), taking the A379 from Kingsbridge to Dartmouth, after The Globe Inn in Frogmore turn right and follow the signs to East Prawle, then once in the village head to Prawle Point.

Blackpool Gardens

Open every day from April to the end of September 10am - 4pm weather permitting, you purchase your ticket from the car park attendant at Blackpool Sands and enter through the secret door. With semi-tropical plants gathered from the four corners of the world, a host of rare and unusual specimens this is really a plantsman's gatden and a delight to see. Gently sloping paths criss-cross through the trees and shrubs offering glimpses of the sea from hidden seating areas, the perfect place to enjoy a few quiet moments. From Kingsbridge follow the A379 to Dartmouth and turn off at Blackpool Sands just before Stoke Fleming (TQ6 0RG).


Journey to the far reaches of the world with a walk around the National Trust Overbeck's garden located above South Sands in Salcombe. Open everyday in September (11-5pm) take your time and enjoy lunch in the tea-room or on the terrace. Be sure not to miss the paddle leaves and black stems of Colocasia Esculenta on the museum lawn - my personal favourite. On this month is an exhibition by artists Sarah Brooker and Jo Crook. Hand-rolled felts inspired by aspects of the sea and pressed artworks using local seaweed washed up by the tide. Visit on a Wednesday and you can join one of the gardeners for a tour of the gardens and discover it interesting history and fascinating collection of plants. From Kingsbridge take the A381 to Salcombe and follow the signs to Overbecks or turn right in Malborough and park at East Soar where you can enjoy a 30 minute walk and avoid the narrow approach lane.

Fast Rabbit Farm

Garden created in a sheltered valley with natural stream, several ponds and a lake. Partially wooded, rockery, extensively planted, and extending to 43 acres. Make sure to take a look at the new woodland planting and walks. Open daily all year round, admission is just £5 for adults and dogs on leads are very welcome. Visitors are encouraged to bring a picnic to enjoy the tranquility of the garden, With some level walks available too, the gardens are suitable for those less mobile but please call 07813 504490 for further information.

Lukesland Gardens

Not open until the 8th October, make a note in your diaries to visit 24 acres of woodland gardens in a beautiful setting with a brook cascading from its source on Dartmoor through ponds and over waterfalls towards the River Erme. Open on Sundays and Wednesdays from 8th October to 12 November 11am - 5pm. 

Supplied by Kingsbridge Information Centre