Marwood Hill Gardens

A 20 acre private garden set in the heart of North Devon


Summer is over and Autumn is well and truly on its way - there are still lots of colours here at Marwood Hill Gardens, from Salvias to the black-eyed Geranium!

Excitingly in the woodland many of the trees are showing fabulous oranges, yellows and reds, recalling memories of warm hats, scarves and fluffy winter boots!

Catch up over coffee and home-made cake [the Tea Room has been experimenting with lots of new flavours!] or a cream tea in the picturesque Garden Tea Room, open till the end of October.

Please check our website for more information:
or call us on 01271 342528.



Have you heard that Marwood Hill Gardens won big at Hampton Court Flower Show this year? Their beautiful and colourful volcano of Astilbes was awarded not only a RHS Gold Medal, but also the Best Plant Heritage Exhibit by the Judges.

Visit yourselves and learn all about their National Collection of Astilbes started in 1990 and today is one of the largest collections anywhere in the world! The Gardens are also home to an abundance of gorgeous and colourful plants and flowers, including three other National Collections.

Catch up over coffee and home-made cake or a cream tea in the picturesque Garden Tea Room or take a bit of Marwood magic home with you from our Walled Garden Nursery & Plant Sales. No bookings needed and dogs on leads welcome!

Please check our website for more information:
or call us on 01271 342528.





We are delighted to say that we are opening our gates again from 1st April 2022! Come and see our award-winning Camellias [we won Best Bloom for our Harold Paige Camellia at RHS Rosemoor in March] as well as our magnificent Magnolias that are out in bloom for spring!

Catch up over coffee and home-made cake or a cream tea in the picturesque Garden Tea Room or take a bit of Marwood magic home with you from our Walled Garden Nursery and Plant Sales.

No bookings needed and dogs on leads welcome!

Please check our website for more information or call us on 01271 342528.





At the time of going to press, the Gardens are unfortunately closed due to the current government lockdown.
However, once it is possible, the Gardens, Tea Room and Plant Sales will reopen.
To keep in touch or for further information please visit our
or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Trip Advisor





This is a challenging time for everyone and our priority is the health and safety of our visitors, our volunteers and our staff. We shall continue to follow the Government advice and respond accordingly. However, we feel there are great benefits in allowing people to relax and enjoy the beauty of the garden in a wide-open space.

ONLY if we are allowed to stay open, the Gardens and the Walled Garden Nursery will remain open to visitors and season ticket holders, from 10.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Admissions and the Tea Room WILL NOT be open.

Entry can be paid for either by placing it in the Honesty Box [on the wall by the entrance] or paid for in the Garden Nursery.



We are serving a range of Festive Foods in the Tea Room from
10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. on the following weekends:
Saturday & Sunday, 30th November and 1st December
Saturday & Sunday, 7th and 8th December
Saturday & Sunday, 14th and 15th December
Booking is advisable
Ring [01271] 342528 or e-mail:













The second Folksy Theatre outdoor performance, the Princess and the Pig is on Thursday, 24th August at 6.30 p.m. To watch, bring your folding chairs, blankets and picnics. Phone for tickets on [0127] 342528.

The National Collection of Astilbes are currently looking stunning, the new bed plantings colourful and the Plant Sales full of gorgeous plants.

The Gardens will be closing on the 30th September, but for October visiting and special winter events, please again ring [01271] 342528.

Why not drop in to the Tea Room and look at the local crafts for sale and start your Christmas shopping early!



Open daily 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.
Tea Room to 4.30 p.m. Plant Sales 11.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.

Twelfth Night - Wednesday, 26th July 6.30 p.m.

Bring your folding chairs, blankets and picnics to watch

Folksy Theatre's production, with live music, bold characters and audience interaction. 'Phone for tickets on [01271] 342528

The Bog Garden and Candelabra Primula are currently looking lovely but there's always something for you to enjoy in the Gardens. Why not buy a Season Ticket and visit the Gardens throughout the year? £25 will buy you a single ticket and £40 for 2 people living at the same address.





will be open at the week-ends during October. The Garden, Plant Sales and Tea Room will be open from 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Check the website for other October events. The Gardens close on 31st October and reopen mid-March 2017.

Don't forget that a wide variety of gifts can be found in the Gift Shop section of the Tea Room as well as gift vouchers for plants, cream teas and season tickets - excellent and unusual gifts for Christmas!

There is always something to see in the Gardens, currently sporting autumnal plants and colours.



Open daily from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.

Always something new blooming in the garden, delicious food in the Tea Room and special plants for sale.

Coming Events:

  • Season Ticket Holders' Evening Walk around the Garden Wednesday, 8th June, 6.30 p.m. led by Head Gardener Joe Reardon-Smith
  • Mutts at Marwood, Saturday, 4th June, 11.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. Please help us to support Hearing Dogs for the Deaf and bring your mutt to meet Gaynor and Indigo. A tail-wagging sort of day!
  • As You Like It - Outdoor Performance by Folksy Theatre Wednesday, 27th July Start: 6.30 p.m. This wonderful Shakespeare comedy about life, love, betrayal, faith and death will be filled with Folksy's touch of bold characters, live music, audience interaction and plenty of laughs. Not to be missed! Tickets - Pre-show: £13.50, £10 concession, £8 child £38 Family [2 adults, 2 under 16's] On Gate: £15, £12 and £10 - no family ticket available

For more information and to book, please ring [01271] 342528



Garden & Garden Tea Room Open 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Plant Nursery and Sales 12.00 noon to 5.00 p.m. Looking for a present? Why not buy a Gift Voucher or Season Ticket?

Friday 25th September: Macmillan Fund Raiser Garden Tea Room All Day

The Gardens Close for this year on Wednesday, 30th September. Please contact us for October times, Gifts or for Venue Hire for Private Events. Tel: 01271 342528




The Gardens are now fully open for the 2015 season:

The Gardens and Tea Room from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. and the Plant Centre from 12.00 noon.

Admission £6.00, 12-16's £2.50 and Under 12's free

There will be an EASTER EGG TRAIL, with prizes, for Children on Easter Sunday and Monday.

Come and see the new look Plant Sales Area. With the early spring flowers now over, it is time for the camellias, magnolias and rhododendrons to come into their own.




The Gardens will be open from 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.

Entry £4.00. Season Ticket Holders and Children under 12 Free. The Tea Room will be open serving hot and cold drinks, cakes and light lunches, and the Plant Centre open selling a variety of plants.

The Garden, Garden Tea Room and Plant Centre will reopen fully on Sunday, 15th March.


Christmas Presents? You are not too late to buy gift vouchers to spend at the Gardens or Season Tickets. Just contact Patricia either at or telephone [01271] 342528.

Although the Gardens are now closed for the winter and will reopen on 15th March, there will be two Snowdrop Days in February - 15th and 22nd - when the Tea Room will be open and plants on sale. Make a note of the dates and full details will be in the February newsletter.

Congratulations and best wishes to Malcolm Pharoah, Head Gardener for the last 40 or so years, who has now retired. Keep him out of the gardens? No! He will still be there tending to plants! A warm welcome to Joe Reardon-Smith who has taken on the task of Head Gardener and some of you will have already had the chance to meet him.

2015 will see quite a few changes around the gardens, plant centre and tea room, so do come and visit us soon and see for yourself.




The Gardens, Tea Room and Plant Centre are now fully open, from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. [last orders in the Tea Room, 4.30 p.m.]

In spite of the very wet winter, the Gardens are looking beautiful - camellias, rhododendron and the many varieties of magnolia are all in bloom, as are many other spring flowers. So why not come to see them and perhaps think about getting a season ticket so that you can visit all the year. A single ticket is £25.00 and a double, for two people living at the same address, £40.00. On Easter Sunday and Monday there will be a Children's Easter Quiz.

For more information visit the website: or telephone [01271] 342528.


Snowdrop Sundays and Workshop

The Gardens and Tea Room will be open on Sundays 16th and 23rd February, 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. Garden entry £4.00, Children under 12 and Season Ticket holders free.

Local Artist, Christine Grafton will be holding painting workshop sessions in both the morning and aflernoon. £15 per session to include entry to the Gardens, Workshop and Materials and home-made Soup Lunch. Booking for Workshop essential. Ring 01271 342528 or e-mail to book or for further information.

The Gardens, Garden Tea Room and Plant Centre will reopen fully on Saturday, 15th March, 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m



The Gardens will NOT be open on Fridays and Saturdays during October and will close for the winter at the end of October. If you are thinking of visiting the gardens and/or tea room, it is advisable to ring first to ensure they are open [01271] 342528.



The Garden Tea Room sells not only delicious home-made cakes and scones but also tasty light lunches and home-made soups. Why not call in and enjoy an appetising meal and take a tour of the gardens, entry for which is only £6.00? No entry fee is made if you are only going to the Tea Room.

However, for £25 single or £40 for 2 people at the same address, you can have a Season Ticket and visit the Gardens as often as you like, have a free tea or coffee on every visit and enjoy special events for season ticket holders only.

On Friday, 27th September, we are again holding a day of fund raising for Macmillan Cancer Support, do please come along and support this very worthy cause.

There is always something to see in the Garden but currently the bog garden plants and the astilbe are making a colourful splash.

Please check our website: for future events, especially the Wildlife Days for the children.



There is always something of interest blooming in the Gardens, so why not call over, enjoy light refreshments North Dcvoo and wander around the garden and lakes. For just £25 or £40 for a single or double Season Ticket you could visit every week!

There are special events for Season Ticket holders only - Garden Walks with Head Gardener Malcolm Pharoah and a Winter Talk with a speaker in the Tea Room in November.

A special date for everyone's diary is the outdoor performance of Romeo and Juliet by Folksy Theatre on WEDNESDAY, 31ST JULY. Gates open at 5.30 p.m. and the play starts at 6.30 p.m. Bring along your travel rugs, folding chairs and picnics, or if you prefer have something to eat in the Tea Room which will be open from 5.30 p.m. and during the interval.

Tickets: Pre-booked - Adults £12, Concessions £8, Family of 4 £35 On the Gate: Adults £15, Concessions £ 10.

Bookings for Tickets and the Tea Room may be made on [01271] 342528.




Illustration by: Paul Swailes

The Gardens will be open for Snowdrop Sundays on the 17th and 24th February, from 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. Season Ticket holders free, Special Entry £4.00 and children under 12 free. Dogs, on leads, are welcome. The Tea Room will be serving hot drinks, cakes and bowls of warming soup and there will be plants to purchase.

The Gardens, Tea Room and Plant Centre will open fully for the new season from Friday, 1st March. The price of entry is £6.00 [or £5 for a group of 10 or more], and of course there is now parking for both cars and coaches just a short walk from the Gardens. Season Tickets are available at £25 or for joint membership at £40 for two people living at the same address. In doesn't matter when you visit, there is always something blooming! But if you don't want to go round the gardens but fancy a snack in the Tea Room, entry is free.



Although there is still plenty to see, October is the last chance to enjoy the Gardens for this year, Opening times during October are from 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. daily. We shall be closed from Sunday, 28th October and re-open on Friday, 1st March 2013. .

Looking for unusual Christmas Gifts? Why not treat your family and friends to a Gift Voucher or Season Ticket? For 2013 annual Season Tickets will remain at £25.00 single and there will be a new Joint Membership [2 people living at the same address] for £40.00. Holders will receive, on each visit, a complimentary cup of tea, coffee or glass of juice and special events are planned for 2013. There is also a range of Gift Vouchers: Entry for 2, Cream Tea for 2, Entry and Cream Tea for 2, etc., or vouchers to spend in the Plant Centre or Tea Room.

Although the Gardens are officially closed during the winter, season ticket holders are welcome to visit but do so at their own risk! Internet users can keep up to date via our website, and please 'Like Us' on Facebook!

Finally, are you a member of the NDJ Reader Club? If so, look out for our offers. For October there is a Meal Deal - Soup and Sandwich for 2 at £12.00 [saving of £3.40], but remember to bring your Reader's card.




The wisteria arch is just about to burst into bloom and there is lots to see in the Gardens at this time of year.

Don't forget, the Tea Room and Plant Centre are open daily and entry is free for both if you haven't got time to go round the Gardens. We'll be celebrating the Diamond Jubilee in conjunction with the village on the Bank Holiday Tuesday afternoon, 5th June, when normal admission applies. There will be story-telling, fancy dress and more - come and join us! Visit the website for up-to-date information.

On Tuesday, 21st August, we are having the Folksy Theatre to give an open air performance of Much Ado About Nothing, 6.30 p.m. Full details in the August Newsletter, but keep this date free!

Tel: [01271] 342528



The season will shortly be coming to an end but before it does there is still time to visit the Garden to see it in its autumn colours and enjoy a hot meal in the Garden Tea Room.

On Saturday 8th October, there will be a Jewellery and Gift Making Day, from 10.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. The cost of £15 includes tuition, lunch and refreshments throughout the day, and materials for making one item. Book now on [01271] 342528, booking in advance is essential. There are plans to hold a couple more workshops in the near future - Patchworking and Creative Writing with local author Deborah McKinley. Watch for details or visit our website

We shall again be hosting Christmas Lunches [no evening meals], including Saturdays and Sundays, for individuals and groups, or perhaps your group might like a Christmas Tea. For more details please ring Patricia on [01271] 342528.

Looking for that elusive Christmas gift for the person who has everything? Our annual Season Ticket at £22.50 fits the bill!




Begun in the 1950's by an inspired gardener, many locals still refer to the gardens as Dr. Smart's Garden. But since his death in 2002 when they passed to his

nephew, they have had to earn their keep! To this end, there is now a thriving Plant Centre with trees, shrubs and plants for sale at exceptionally reasonable prices, and a flourishing Garden Tea Room serving morning coffees, light lunches and cream teas, with a selection of delicious cakes available throughout the day.

Open from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. daily [last orders for the Tea Room at 4.30 p.m.] with entry at only £5.50 - or you could do even better with a 12 month season ticket for just £22.50.

Why not come and wander around the colourful plant displays and lakes with their wildlife and keep Dr.Smart's vision alive?

Illustartion by: Debbie Rigler Cook



The Gardens, Plant Centre and Tea Room are now fully open and waiting for your visit! The camellias, magnolias and rhododendrons are looking magnificent, the Plant Centre has beautiful plants to buy - at very reasonable prices - and the Tea Room is serving delicious light lunches and cakes.

We shall be exhibiting at the Rosemoor Show on the 16th and 17th April.

There will be special attractions at Easter, especially for the young and young at heart, and on the 29th April we'll be celebrating the Royal Wedding in our own special way.

For full details of our events, please check our website: or telephone Patricia on [01271] 342528.



The Gardens will open for the 2011 season on Tuesday, 1st March. The Garden Tea Room and the Plant Centre, with a large and varied selection of new plants will also be open, from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.

As from that date, Season Tickets will go up to £22.50 for the year, but entry on the gate remains the same at £5.50.

However, on Sundays 20th and 27th February, from 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m., the Gardens will be open for special Snowdrop and Hellebore Days, when the Tea Room will be open for Hot Pot Lunches and other goodies. Do come along and enjoy these early spring flowers.



It is not too late to book for your group's Christmas Get Together, or even as individuals, in the Garden Tea Room. There is a varied and interesting 'alternative' menu for your festive meal. with two courses costing £15 or 3 courses £19 [lower prices than last year!]. Relax in the festively decorated Tea Room with a log fire burning!

Why not give an annual Season Ticket as a Christmas Gift [or even buy one for yourself]? The price currently remains at £20, but will unfortunately need to be increased in the new year. Vouchers to spend on Plants or to enjoy a Cream Tea are also available.

Although the Gardens are now closed for the winter months, season ticket holders are welcome to visit, but should be aware that they do so at their own risk. Paths and steps at this time of the year can be slippery and difficult.

The Tea Room will be open for hot lunches from 11.00 am to 4.00 pm on Sundays 20th and 27th February when the Gardens will be open for Snowdrop and Hellebore Days. Everyone welcome. For more information on any of these events, please ring Patricia on [01271] 342528 or e-mail:

Thank you for your support during the year and please visit us again in 2011. In the meantime, I wish you

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Patricia Stout - Property Manager


On Sale

Come and visit the Plant Centre where there is a wide range of magnolias, including 'Marwood Spring' and new ones from America and New Zealand, on sale, as well as flowering shrubs, trees and herbaceous plants - Japanese anemones, Heucheras and Crocosmia.

The Gardens and Tea Room will be closing at the end of October, but if you are looking for a venue for meetings, talks or family gatherings, why not try the Tea Room? The Tea Room can be booked for your event and, of course, your group's festive Christmas meal.

Can't think of that Christmas present? Our exceptional value Season Ticket and Vouchers for Entry and Cream Teas make ideal gifts. 'Stunning Christmas Decorations' is a Beaded Baubles Workshop to be held in the Garden Tea Room on Saturday, 6th November. The day will start with coffee at 10 o'clock and will include a Soup Lunch and afternoon tea, before finishing around 4 o'clock. All this for just £10.00! There is no need to bring anything, beads and accessories will be available to purchase. Numbers will be limited, so booking is essential.

Please ring Patricia on [01271] 342528 or e-mail her on to book or for further information.



The Gardens are currently full of colour with the astilbes making a stunning display. Come and see for yourself! The Tea Room and Plant Centre are open from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.

'Tea Room Treats' - the second printing of our Recipe Book giving the recipes of some of the scrumptious cakes made in our Tea Room, is now available at £3.50 - a lovely little gift for friends and family!

All day on Friday, 24th September, we'll again be taking part in the Macmillan Biggest Coffee Morning, and hope you will drop in to support this very worth while cause. Admission to the Tea Room only is free.

Looking a long way ahead - but it's never too early to think about it - we shall again be providing Christmas Meals, especially for groups, and in October we plan to hold some craft type workshops. Look out for details in the next Newsletter or visit our website:



We look forward to seeing you here in the Gardens or in the Garden Tea Room, any day, any time between 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. Or, of course, you may like to visit the Plant Centre with its wide variety of top class plants for sale.

The Wisteria walk currently looks stunning with the blooms of purple and white from the many varieties, as do the Candelabra Primulas. Towards the end of June and into July, the National Collection of Astilbes will be taking pride of place.

Why not indulge yourself? Firstly, with a delicious tea in the Tea Room [A Recipe Book of our home-made cakes is now available on sale], and secondly by taking advantage of our incredible value Season Ticket, just £20.00 for a whole year [minus your entry fee on the day of purchase]!



We are now fully open - daily from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m., with the Plant Centre opening at 11.00 a.m. and selling a wonderful selection of plants, all at very reasonable prices.

Over Easter the Garden Tea Room will be putting on delicious Easter 'Specials' and there will be something to occupy the children.

The snowdrops have given a fantastic display but are now being replaced by a wonderful show of daffodils and the camellias are also all coming into bloom. Fingers crossed that we don't get frosts! The magnolias will be coming on in May, so there is always something of interest and colourful to see. Why not make sure you don't miss anything by buying the great-value Season Ticket at just £20! We look forward to seeing you.



The 2010 season at Marwood Hill Gardens starts on 1st March, but before that on Sundays, 21st and 28th February, the Gardens will be open for Hellebore and Snowdrop Days, from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m., with hot drinks and light snacks available from the Garden Tea Room. We hope to see you.

Admission charges this year have sadly had to increase and are: Adults £5.50, 12-16 year olds £2.50, Under 12 free. The group rate is £5 per head for a party of 10 or more. However, why not invest in a Season Ticket? At just £20 for a year, this is a real bargain and you can visit as often as you like.

The Tea Room will be open from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. and the Plant Centre from 11.00 a.m. until 5.00 p.m. daily. If you wish to go direct to the Plant Centre and/or the Tea Room, no charge applies. But, normal admission does apply if you plan to go round the gardens.



You are not too late to book in for one of our special Christmas Lunches and Suppers in the Garden Tea Room decorated for Christmas and with a log fire burning. Why not bring a group of friends? The menu can be found on our website For more information and to book, please ring Patricia on [01271] 342528.

After Christmas, the Gardens will begin to show signs of life with the spring flowers. Visit us for one of our two Hellebore and Snowdrop Sundays on the 21st and 28th February, 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. when the Garden Tea Room will be open for warming refreshments




The Garden Tea Room will be closing at the end of October, but during October, visitors intending to come for coffee, light lunches or cream teas are advised to check in advance that it is open as times might vary. During the month we shall be participating in the 'Celebration of Food' event.

However, during the winter months, it is always possible to book the venue for meetings, lunches or suppers, or for that family celebration. Once again we'll be open for Christmas Meals, at lunchtime and in the evenings during December . . . just the answer for your group's festive feasting. For full details and menus speak to Patricia on [01271] 342528 and check the website [] to keep up to date with happenings at the Gardens.

As for the gardens themselves, there is still plenty to see and the green hues are changing to the colourful oranges and golds of autumn.

There is a vast and varied selection of plants for sale, and annual Season Tickets at just £20.00 make welcome presents or, of course, give you yourself access all the year round.




IN THE GARDEN NOW: The Wisteria Pergola with its twelve different varieties, is coming into its own now and the Candelabra Primulas in the Bog Garden are a favourite of visitors at this time of year. A family of goslings has recently hatched and there are many families of ducklings down by the lake. Anyone who has fed the ducks will know that the fish will be waiting for bread as well!

You won't need to wait for bread - visit the Garden Tea Room for delicious cakes and coffee, light lunches and cream teas.

Why not spoil yourself, buy a Season Ticket, just £20 to include your current visit and you will be able to visit the Gardens at any time for a whole year and, of course, you can just call in to the Tea Room either on your way to or from Barnstaple.



With April, the jewel of the Garden is opening its large, deep pinkish-red flowers. Situated in front of the house, it is now some 30 ft in height. Named 'Magnolia Marwood Spring', it is a seedling raised from a plant growing at Caerhayes Castle in Cornwall. From March through to the end of May, a succession of daffodils create a dazzling spectacle. The Camellia collection, of course, is also looking stunning at present.

We shall be exhibiting Rhododendron and Camellia at the RHS Rosemoor Show during the week-end of 25th/26th April, where we shall have a variety of unusual plants for sale in the Plant Heritage Group area outside.

There will be delicious goodies in the Garden Tea Room during the Easter week-end and 'Bangers & Mash' to celebrate St. George's Day on 23rd April., and there is always a stock of unusual plants for sale in the Plant Centre.




Here at the Gardens we are looking forward to the new season and hopefully some better weather! We are also looking forward to having our coach and car parking facilities which we hope will make it easier for visitors and locals alike.

On Sundays the 8th, 15th and 22nd February we shall be holding Snowdrop and Hellebore Days when the Tea Room will be open for hot lunches. Booking is essential.

There is always something fresh to see in the Gardens all the year round and at this time of the year, the trunks of the Snow Gums appear ghostly in the winter sunshine. Coming from the snowy mountains of New South Wales in Australia, they are the hardiest of all the eucalyptus and with their bark peeling to reveal the patchwork trunks, they are a great sight.

The Gardens, including the Plant Centre and Tea Room will be 'officially' open from Sunday, 1st March, but by using the 'Honesty Box' we welcome you here at any time.



The Garden Tea Room, with its garden views and log fire, will be open for individuals and parties for Festive Food [but not the usual turkey and trimmings] on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9th, 10th, 16th and 17th December for lunch, 12.30 for 1.00 p.m., and in the evenings for Supper on Thursdays and Fridays, 11th, 12th, 18th and 19th December, 7.00 for 7.30 p.m. 3 Courses £20;00: 2 Courses £16.00, including coffee or Tea. Booking Essential. For a copy of the Menu and a Booking Form, please ring Patricia or Katie on 342528 or e-mail:

The Tea Room will also be open on Sunday, 7th December, when Glenda Ramsey will tell 'Sunshine Stories' with puppets at 11.30 a.m. and 2.30 p.m. Refreshments will be available.

Advance Notice: Sundays 8th, 15th and 22nd February - Snowdrop and Hellebore Days. Tea Room open for hot lunches. Booking essential.

The Gardens are seeking volunteers to join the team. If you think you might be interested to help, please ring Patricia on 342528 for more information.




Autumn colour: as the days grow shorter and the nights colder, the leaves of the trees take on new colours. The maples [acers] which take on rich yellow and orange tints are best seen between the first and second lakes. By mid-October and November, the eunonymous, or spindle bush, is a flaming spectacle of scarlet. Call and see for yourselves!

The Garden Tea Room will close at the end of October but if you are planning to call in for refreshment before that, it would be wise to ring first [01271] 342528.

The Tea Room will, however, be available during the winter months for private functions - family get-togethers, the office party or the Christmas gathering of your group or organisation - just get in touch and book a date.




Now is the time to see the wisteria pergola at its best. This archway over the path leading down to the lake, is planted with twelve different varieties - blue, purples, pinks and white. It also contains roses and clematis which give it on-going colour during the summer.

As part of your visit, why not indulge in a light lunch or cream tea in the Garden Tea Room?

As part of the North Devon Festival, artist John Wright's Art Trek will be at Marwood from the 19th-22nd June, and he invites visitors to join him in painting and sketching in the gardens, but please bring your own materials and a board on which to work. Normal admission charges will apply and for more details please contact Patricia Stout, Property Manager, on [01271]342528.




Currently the camellias and magnolias are looking magnificent, especially the 30' high jewel of the garden, 'Marwood Spring' , which stands just in front of the house.

The banks and areas around the lakes have been transformed into carpets of gold and orange from the thousands of daffodil bulbs planted over the years and the Plant Centre has a large selection of unusual plants for sale.

The Garden Tea Room is now fully open, selling delicious home-made soups, light meals and cakes. There is a new children's menu and people with special dietary needs are also catered for.

We shall be attending the Cornwall Garden Show on 5th/6th April, Rosemoor on 26th/27th April and the Devon County Show on 15th-17th May. On Friday, 18th May, we are open for the National Garden Scheme when all admission takings will be donated to the NGS, which the gardens have been supporting for some 50 years.

There is always something to see in the gardens, so why not get yourself a season ticket. For just £18 you can visit the gardens whenever and as often as you like and there is always a warm welcome in the Tea Room.

Patricia Stout - Property Manager


Marwood Hill Gardens Barnstaple

Twenty acres of gardens with three lakes
A haven for plants from around the world
Three National Collections
Colour from February to late Autumn
Garden Tea Room and Plant Centre
Groups welcome by Appointment
Dogs welcome on leads.

Gardens Open daily 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.
Plant Centre and Garden Tea Room
open 1st March - 31st October
Contact us for other opening times or details of events.
Adults £4.50. Children under 12 Free.
Season Tickets available. Telephone 01271 342528.
E mail:
Visit our website on

Why not take a visit to the Gardens? By the 1st March when they open officially, there will be spring flowers and, of course, the Tea Room will be open for warming hot drinks, home-made soup and other tempting light lunches and teas.

In its sheltered valley, snowdrops and daffodils, camellias and 'Brigadoon', an early flowering rhododendron, are already in bloom. Take a look at this winter's two new arrivals - a pair of life-size bronze swans, the work of sculptor Jonathon Cox - which are enriching the lower lake.



A North Devon Festival Event
With nationally renowned storyteller Michael Dacre.

Sunday, 10th June, 2.00 pm.
Tickets £27.50 including Cream Tea.
Booking Essential

Contact Patricia Stout
[01271] 342528

Planted with twelve different varieties, the Wisteria Pergola over the path to the lakes is currently a spectacular sight. When planting wisterias, it is best to confine the roots so they don't spread and become too vigorous, or the plant will produce a lot of growth and little flower. This can be done by planting them in a hole Surrounded by paving slabs to force the roots downwards. It is equally important to summer prune, butting back the long growth laterals to three buds and so Encourage spurs from which flower buds will be produced.




Sundays 18th and 25th: Snowdrop Sundays, Garden Tea Room Open
Saturday, 24th: Propagation Workshop & Lunch*


Saturday, 3rd: Propagation Workshop & Lunch*
Saturdays 17th & 24th: Camellia Workshop, Talk and Lunch*
Sunday, 18th: Mothering Sunday Lunch*

*Booking essential. Further information available from: Patricia Stout on [01271] 342528.



The Garden Tea Room will be open for Christmas Lunches from Monday, 11th December to Friday, 15th December, inclusive. The 3-course meal and coffee and tea costs £15.00 and advance booking is essential.

Lunch will be served from 12.00 noon and you are welcome to take a stroll in the gardens, either before or after your meal, and plants will be on sale at the Plant Centre.

Why not ring NOW and book your lunch [01271] 342528.



Open daily - Monday to Saturday 11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. and Sunday, 11.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. -the Garden Tea Room at Marwood Hill Gardens is the ideal place to relax for a morning coffee, light lunch or afternoon tea, either before or after experiencing the delights of the gardens.

However, with a £15 Season Ticket, you can call in at any time to enjoy delicious home-made soups, salads, cakes and other delicacies.

There is always something different to see in the gardens and take a look at the wide selection of plants that are on sale.

Illustration by: Debbie Cook



North Devon

Marwood Hill is an 18-acre garden with three small lakes and extensive collections of Camellias and is home to National Collections of Astilbe and Japanese Iris.

Dr. Jimmy Smart, M.B.E., V.M.H., the creator of the gardens, came to Marwood in 1949. The garden and walled garden were very neglected and it took him some years to restore a degree of order. Not until the early 1960's, following the purchase of some rough pasture land to the south and east including the small stream through the valley, did the planting of trees really begin.

Dr. Smart moved from Marwood House and into his new home in 1973 and in 1975, having retired from medicine, the planting progressed rapidly. The plant sale area was increased to help finance the improvements. Another 12 acres was purchased and was gradually incorporated into the main garden to make up the present garden.

Open all the year round, there is much to enjoy at Marwood. Visitors say that it has a very special atmosphere and that they feel inspired by the gardens. The Snowdrops, Daffodils, Rhododendrons and large collection of Magnolias are in flower in the spring. The Wisteria, waterside planting, streams of Candelabra Primulas, Astilbes, Japanese Iris and Australian native plants are glorious in the summer months. The autumn colours are not to be missed.

In the walled garden the plant centre sells plants, which are grown and propagated in the gardens. Many of them are rare and not often available at garden centres.

This year visitors can sit and enjoy views of the garden from the new Garden Tea Room, whilst trying out delicious home cooked lunches and teas.

The gardens are open to the public all year [except Christmas Day]. The plant sale area is open from 11.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. The Garden Tea Room from 10.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. For further information Telephone [01271] 342528.

Dr. Smart died in May 2002 and his nephew, Dr. John Snowdon, now owns the Gardens. Malcolm Pharoah - the Head Gardener - is still lovingly looking after the gardens. Malcolm joined Dr. Smart in 1972 from Wisley and worked closely with the Doctor for 30 years.

Illustrations by: Debbie Cook

Friends of Marwood Hill Gardens

If you live locally, have an interest in gardening and have some time to spare to help us look after these lovely gardens, please contact

Mrs. Patricia Stout - 01271 342528
Marwood Hill Gardens
Marwood Hill
EX31 4EB

The tasks we need help with are;

  • Welcoming visitors at the entrance and in the gardens
  • Helping the gardeners with weeding, potting up, watering and garden projects

All the revenue received from admission ticket and plant sales goes towards the upkeep of these lovely gardens. We do not receive any outside funding.

Marwood Hill Gardens