SIX gorgeous gardens in a historic and picturesque North Devon village are all set to pull in the crowds this weekend – in aid of one of Britain’s best-known charitable funds.
Dolton is where all gardening gurus should be heading for on Saturday and Sunday to support National Garden Scheme nursing and cancer charities.
It lies between Torrington and Winkleigh on the B3217 and still boasts a thriving annual horticultural society show which I used to attend regularly – and enjoyed hugely – before I retired.
There’s also a lively community of shops, primary school and pubs and – naturally – claims to have many excellent gardens.
Those opening (from 2pm-6pm) include a couple of classic cottage gardens with festoons of clematis and roses, a couple of edgy, sustainable gardens, a large orchard garden and a mature country spread.
Visitors will also discover greenhouses and polytunnels, rockeries and ponds, multi-coloured herbaceous borders and shady woodland.
If you need to relax, there are plenty sitting spots where you can soak up the atmosphere of an archetypal Devon village.
Also on the menu – cream teas and plant sales, as well as local produce and crafts in the village hall.
If all this doesn’t spoil you for choice then just consider this . . . it’s just £6 entry to ALL SIX gardens. Which, despite my non-mathematical brain, tells me it’s a steal at a mere pound per property, five out of the six opening for the first time.
The village sextet are Court Cottage, Court House, Hillsview, 1 Thorns Cottage, West View and Higher Cherubeer which has built up a major following every February for its National Collection of cyclamen, as well as more than 400 snowdrop varieties and a wonderful assortment of hellebores.
■ Dolton Gardens – Saturday and Sunday, 1 and 2 June, 2pm-6pm, combined admission £6, children no charge.
■ Dolton delights: From top to bottom – seven lovely views of the gardens of Dolton which open to the public this weekend for the National Garden Scheme.