(Taken from our column in the Shaldon Parish News, September edition)

Next time you go to the Gardens you might observe that some tree works have been undertaken. Thank goodness the ash near the pond was taken down, it was rotten to the core. Nearby a young evergreen oak and a bay tree that were smothering some of the rhododendrons have also been felled. This opens up the Pond Path area ready for a planting scheme which TV gardener Frances Tophill is working on with us. Over towards the Italian Garden one of the huge weeping beeches has received some delicate attention and across the garden one of the walnuts has been carefully reshaped. A large holly that was leaning into both a weeping beech and a Japanese Hiba has been removed leaving the specimen trees standing proud. A dead elm on the allotments boundary has also been removed.

Having a full time gardener for three years courtesy of the Heritage Lottery Fund has made a major improvement to the quality of the Gardens. Gary is keeping this large area looking like a welcoming, cared for garden and still undertaking major undergrowth clearance, mowing, pruning and planning improvements for the future. He is also happily telling visitors about the history of the Homeyards family and this great project of theirs as he shows them around the newly restored castle.

The volunteers will be working there too on Tuesdays 11th and 25th September and would be pleased to welcome new and returning gardeners to this excellent green gym. Starting at 10am we work till we run out of oomph at about lunchtime.

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