Welcome to the blog of the Friends of Homeyards Botanical Gardens in Shaldon

April 26, 2009

The committee of the Friends hopes to use the Blog to communicate with members of the Friends and others interested in the Gardens or in Shaldon generally.homeyards

The Blog will include information about Homeyards, our plans for development of the gardens, and the progress we are making.  It will also pass on details of events and opportunities for you to get involved.

Communication is a two way street, and we hope that you will take advantage of the comments facility included  with each post to let us know your thoughts, views and opinions about what we are doing, and of course any ideas of your own for the gardens.

Hire the Castle


Hallowe’en pics

November 8, 2018

Some pics of the Castle getting ready for our Hallowe’en event.

Hallowe’en in the Gardens – Saturday 27th October

October 24, 2018

Scary goings-on in the Gardens, Saturday 27th October, 5-7 pm. Free event.

Update on tree work

August 14, 2018

(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.

Gardens Slideshow

August 14, 2018

Teignmouth artist Dorothy Dawson has created a lovely slideshow of her pictures of the Gardens taken this August. Watch it here : youtu.be/ixoyHgvGPwo

Watch out for the green/black striped dragonfly and the electric blue damselfly. Also the furry White Ermine moth caterpillar as it gallops over the tarmac to find a spot in which to pupate.

You can see more of Dorothy’s work at www.picturesofteignmouth.co.uk

Homeyards historical data gathering

June 3, 2018

At the end of May the Friends held a historical data gathering event in the Castle. The residents of the 54 houses built by Maria Homeyard during the 1920’s and 30’s were invited to get together and share old photos and material from their deeds. The aim was to get a better understanding of how this development progressed and to give the home owners a chance to compare notes about this historic building project.

Black & white photographs of Shaldon’s hillside were projected onto the wall above the Castle’s recently restored fireplace and proved to be quite a talking point. They provided evidence of the order in which this massive undertaking was tackled. Local historian Tim Mole prepared detailed research of the first occupants of the neat rows of Homeyards cottages which back onto the allotment field that rises up behind. Names and photographs of Shaldon characters brought back memories for some and introduced new owners to their predecessors. Broadlands residents scoured their deeds and came up with original ‘Arts and Crafts style’ architectural drawings and facts confirming long forgotten detail. Residents of the ‘Swiss Chalet’ style Hamiltons houses were interested to see a photograph taken in one of their gardens. Although those present agreed these distinctive buildings were the first of the Homeyards houses to be built unfortunately no material emerged to confirm this.

Our intention is to collate this information and to put it together with the Liqufruta and Homeyards Botanical Gardens story and pass it to Teignmouth Museum.

About 50 people braved the weather to take part in this nostalgic afternoon. Thank you very much to all of you. If anyone else has any information or photographs that might add to the archive then please get in touch with us.

Shaldon Garage Sale Trail

June 1, 2018

The weekend of 12th May saw the inaugural Village Garage Sale Trail – about 40 households took part and it proved extremely popular with buyers and sellers alike.

Not only were The Friends of Homeyards one of the beneficiaries of the Trail but we ran a stall of our own too. Friends Sally and Andrew Burgess kindly offered the use of their very conveniently placed front garden and villagers rolled up with donations for us to sell. The combined proceeds of the two brought a welcome £214 into our coffers.

Easter Fun pics

April 15, 2018

In a sea of wet days, we had a dry one for our first Easter event for families since the restoration of the Castle and we made the most of it. We were delighted to welcome a very good mix of ages to enjoy crafts, games, hunting, seed sowing and Bridget’s special weaving lessons. Our particular thanks go to Teignbridge Green Spaces for their generous sponsorship as well as Wyevale and Morrisons who made welcome donations of seeds and chocolate eggs. On the day itself our visitors made contributions of £58.15 for which many thanks. Those of us who were running things rather enjoyed this special first Easter in the Castle – we hope our visitors did too. And don’t forget to water and enjoy eating the mung beans and cress, and to grow your own pumpkin for Halloween, and maybe the tallest sunflower in Shaldon.

Read the rest of this entry »

Easter Fun in the Gardens – Thursday 5th April

March 28, 2018

Easter Fun in the Gardens, Thursday 5th April, 10 am to 12 noon. Everyone welcome.

As always it will be free to all – everyone welcome. We wish to acknowledge the generous support of Teignbridge Green Spaces and also Wyevale Garden Centre and Morrisons Stores.

Eggs from Morrisons

This will be our first Easter event in the newly refurbished Castle, so come and explore, craft, hunt, weave and play in Maria Homeyard’s Pleasure Garden and her summer house – though we might need a fire in the hearth this year!

2017 accounts

March 5, 2018

Please click on the link below to view the accounts for 2017 (.pdf, 4.1Mb)
Year End Accounts 31 Dec 2017

Garden Crafts

March 2, 2018

In February when we cut back the beautiful coloured dogwoods, Bridget showed us how to weave platters with the prunings. And because of the heavy pruning the plants will be all the more glorious next year. We are hoping to do some simple outdoor weaving for grown-ups at our Easter event on Thursday 5th April.

Bridget also showed us how she used phormium leaves to refresh an older basket where drying out over time had left some gaps, and she has made another basket and some ‘roses’ too.