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


Rescuing the Gardener’s Hut

November 29, 2017

You don’t have to be a gardener to volunteer, look what happens when you mention your carpentry skills … the Gardener’s Hut, being repaired by Tony with help from Gary and a kind donation towards the cost of materials being made by a Shaldon family.

Extra Work Days, November 21st and 23rd

November 13, 2017

We will soon take delivery of hundreds of plants for the Italian Garden rockeries and we have scheduled Tuesday 21st November for planting them out. If anyone can spare a few hours to come and help it would wonderful. If you are able to assist then bring a packed lunch, the Castle with its kitchen and toilet facilities will be open all day for our benefit.

Then 2 days later, on the afternoon of Thursday 23rd November, we have TV presenter and professional gardener Frances Tophill together with a group of Marines from the Hasler Naval Recovery Centre in Plymouth coming to work on the Gardens. The area alongside the Pond Path linking the big pond with the new car park is their target area. Frances is working on a planting scheme for the area but first there’s a considerable amount of clearance work to tackle as the area has been overgrown for many years. If any of you are able to come along on Thursday afternoon from about 2pm you’d be very welcome to join the Marines in this task. Again, the Castle will be open for afternoon tea.

1935 photo

November 13, 2017

A remarkable photo which we’ve dated to 1935 has come to light, it shows the progress of Homeyards developments. The 8 Hamiltons houses are in place, there’s clearly building work on the terraced row of Homeyards cottages and Broadlands has yet to be created. In the Gardens the Castle and pond and rill system are visible, as is the grotto or Witches Cave. The Gardeners Hut shows up below the Torquay Road but works to create the Italian Garden area have not been started.

Castle Re-Opening Ceremony

October 17, 2017

Friday 15th September – heavy overnight rain and a doubtful forecast very nearly caused the ceremonial opening of the restored castle to take place not in the gardens at all but in church. But, we held our nerve, stuck to plan and didn’t get (very) wet.

Inside the castle a great exhibition came from our local school. Lots and lots of amazingly inventive vegetable animals and tray gardens were displayed alongside some of the photographic images created during their workshops with Colin Lizius to document the restoration.

On the lawns in front of the castle local actors young and older gave a vivid presentation of the story of Maria Homeyards creation of the gardens and neighbouring houses. Mingling with the local supporters in the audience were invited guests representing our lottery fund partners and the Homeyards family. As the play reached its conclusion actors and guests toasted ‘Liqufruta’ and the specially commissioned flag was hoisted aloft. The afternoon was rounded off in style with a delicious Devon cream tea – just as Mrs Homeyards originally intended.

We were delighted to welcome all who came to take part in this special occasion and our particular thanks go to Leon Winston, Roger Kirk, Janet Gordge and Bridget Arnold.

With the restoration of Homeyards now well into its stride it is time to acknowledge the debt of gratitude we owe to Jane Nicholls and Chrissie Drew of Teignbridge Green Spaces who helped to win the Lottery Grant for us and held everything together, and to the Heritage Lottery Fund team and Viridor for their financial guidance and generous support. Also to Lisa Pash who inspired the Friends with her initial concept and has worked tirelessly to bring it to fulfilment. And is even now thinking ahead …

Many more pictures after the jump …
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Italian Garden Workshop

October 9, 2017

On Wednesday September 6th we held a workshop to study the Italianate style of gardens in England. A group of Friends, volunteers and professional gardeners indulged in a day of plant talking, planning and delicious cake. Skilfully led by Simon Bonvoisin and Barbara Theisen we were deftly guided towards complete plant lists and layouts for all three of the large planting areas in the Italian Garden – much to our delight. A good day was had and such an achievement. It is hoped that further refinements will quickly be followed by ordering and final preparation of the beds in readiness for planting up in November.

Quiz Answers

September 12, 2017

To see the answers to our quiz click on the small picture below :-

Castle Re-opening Ceremony

September 8, 2017

Everyone is welcome at the Castle Re-opening Ceremony on Friday 15th September at 2 pm. There will be a drama re-enactment by Shaldon School followed by a cream tea. Dress with a nod to the 1920s.

Clearing the Pond Path

August 10, 2017

A few pictures of the Tuesday morning volunteers clearing the Pond Path – the continuation of the rhododendron bed running from the pond up towards new car park.

Photography Workshop on Friday 30th June

June 26, 2017

Clearing the Rope Walk Steps

June 26, 2017

Our gardener and his young assistant are taking in hand the Rope Walk, the pathway that rises from Broadlands up besides the allotments to the gardens. Gary and Charlie would be most grateful for donations of shrubs and plants for this area. We are assured that re-alignment of the very wonky steps at the top is on Teignbridge’s list of works.