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.

Grand Opening Ceremony update

May 1, 2017

In compliance with the rules associated with our Heritage Lottery Grant a fixed sum of money has been set aside to provide a substantial public event to mark the completion of work on the Castle – a grand opening ceremony.

Planned for June 30th 2017 the event was to involve all manner of village groups in a series of events lasting all day and on into the evening.

Although the works are nominally complete, architects and builders are still in negotiation concerning problems with water ingress. Until the damp problems are sorted out Teignbridge will not be signing it off and so the opening ceremony will not now be happening at mid-summer. We are now working towards having the ceremony later in the year, Friday 15th September has been provisionally booked.

William Sears Memorial Bench

April 21, 2017

William Sears oversaw the building and garden works in the 1930s from his office which is now the Gardener’s Hut above the Italian Garden. There was once a memorial bench dedicated to him, but all that remained of it was a number of broken pieces scattered round the gardens. These broken pieces have been carefully incorporated by a skilled stone mason to recreate the bench. William Sears’s granddaughter Edwina has been along to admire the result.

Easter Fun in the Gardens

April 6, 2017