As Summer drew to a close this year we paid a visit to Cadhay, a remarkable Elizabethan manor in rural Devon complete with ancient and contemporary gardens.
The house, estate and gardens at Cadhay have been evolving since they were first recorded in 1550.
To go there is to walk into a garden which is one of the most tranquil gardens I have visited.
Travelling to Cadhay will take you through some glorious Devon countryside, so by the time you arrive your senses are already tuned into the natural beauty of the region.
Within the gardens there are some magnificent specimen trees. These lead the eye into the surrounding parkland where more trees help to soften the edges so it appears that this man made garden is part of the whole landscape, and that the landscape is at one with the garden. This is just one aspect of what makes Cadhay such a special place.
Of course this visual spectacle does not happen by chance; it has taken hundreds of years plus the resources and care of the many owners to create what we see here today.
All of this natural beauty provides a perfect setting for the beautiful stone manor house that sits within its grounds. With such ease it effortlessly enhances the picture from the many view points within the gardens. The weathered stone walls with their well appointed windows and chimneys provide a detailed backdrop to the many borders and trees and views across the lawns.
The plantings are both ancient and contemporary and can be seen from many points around the garden. Some of the best are viewed across the large ponds towards the house and park.
Within the old walled garden many changes have taken place, however the tradition of growing and cutting flowers for the house is still carried out by the garden staff. The beds and borders however are dug not just by the garden team, but also by local gardeners who can apply for an allotment plot to grow their own crops in.
Cadhay is a working estate and the owners welcome visitors to view the gardens, attend functions in the Granary building, rent the Old Coach House or Stable Cottages, and for some lucky people, there is the opportunity to stay in the main house itself.
I hope you enjoy watching the short video which we filmed at Cadhay, and that one day you are able to make a visit yourself. If you do I think you will be captivated by the magic of this ancient and beautiful place.
For more details about the gardens and visitor opening times see the website: www.cadhay.org.uk