We welcome larger organised groups to enjoy the gardens at Mothecombe by appointment only. Please contact the office for more information on this.
Mothecombe Gardens lie at the mouth of the Erme estuary, surrounded by the Flete Estate. You approach the garden through the hamlet of Mothecombe, which consists of fifteen thatched estate cottages. It is like stepping back in time.
Mothecombe House is a Queen Anne house with additions by Sir Edwin Lutyens. On the south front is a walled garden with Lutyens Terraces with wisteria, irises and agapanthus, and a lawn with herbaceous borders. A door leads to an orchard underplanted with daffodils, with a camellia walk to the woodland garden. Here the camellias, magnolias and cherries give way to rhododendrons, hydrangeas and mixed shrubs. These are underplanted with masses of snowdrops and hellebores followed by Solomon's seal and sheets of bluebells as spring advances. Round the corner you suddenly hear the sea, and can access the private beach through a wicket gate.
Returning along the bottom path you pass a pond with a giant gunnera opposite masses more hellebores and snowdrops, and a thicket of brilliant willow and cornus planted to catch the low winter sunshine, followed by pieris forestii and deciduous azaleas. The next blaze of colour is in the bog garden, with masses of cool green ferns and huge arum lilies, skunk cabbage, iris, primulas, astilbes and hostas. In June, there is a dramatic display of flowering cornus above the bog garden.
Later in the year, grassy paths lead through shrub roses up to the Duchess' Walk and hazel tunnel to Mothecombe Grove and the Autumn garden and back between two pillars of eucryphia x nymansensis which absolutely hum with bees in August.
Our Artist in Residence, Shelley Castle shares her thoughts on Devon's Spring flowers.
The Flete Estate Office,
Haye Farm, Holbeton,
Telephone: 01752 830234