Sunday, 1 May 2016

"Welcome to Overbeck's................

.....it is warm and beautiful here. I grow bananas, oranges, and pomegranates out in the garden, and have 3,000 palm trees planted in my woods and garden"
Otto Overbeck writing to a friend in 1933


Perched high on the cliffs above Salcombe in south Devon, and enjoying spectacular coastline views, Overbeck's is a hidden paradise of subtropical plants.
The weather, however, was definitely not subtropical - it was a wet morning, which luckily cleared up as we arrived, but remained dull with barely a peep from the sun through the clouds
"First Flight"
fledglings leave their nest
Banana grove just coming into leaf seen outside through the windows in the Garden Room
Rododendron 'Lady Alice Fitzwilliam' fills the air with a spicey nutmeg fragrance
 These Beschorneria yuccoides - Mexican lilies, look as if they might lurch out and grab you as you pass!!!
Acacia verticillata - Prickly Moses, native to Australia and Tasmania - the normally fluffy lemon flowers drenched in rain
Euphorbia characias wulfenii
Be gentle, and the friendly garden Robins might even feed out of your hand!

46 comments:

  1. How is it possible all those plants can grow and blossom there in a complete other climate and all in the open air. Amazing.

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    1. These plants also grow along sheltered coves down the west coast of Scotland, around southern Ireland and also around these coves in Devon, Cornwall and the Scily Isles - it is all to do with the warm Gulf stream that passes through their coastal waters.

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  2. Dear Rosemary, What a lovely walk you took us on. I have heard of this particular area of England but had forgotten its name. To see such exotic plants, trees and flowers in your very wet and cold climate makes the experience even more special. Again, your photographs are outstanding.

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    1. Dear Gina - glad you enjoyed the walk in this beautifully located garden. The explanation for the fact that exotic plants grow in this location is given above to Biebkriebels.

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  3. Although I have heard about the effect of the Gulf Stream, and the way there are such gardens in the UK, it does come as a surprise to see it! This garden is full of plants which we grow in our sub-tropical Brisbane garden - but there in an English setting. But of course, we never see a sweet, gentle, red robin. He really is the cutest little thing, and made me smile :)

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    1. The Gulf Stream effect is a very strange phenonomen. If you get down to the southern coast of Ireland around Dingle Bay then you will see the same plants flourishing there too.
      We do love our Robins here - I think most gardens have a resident Robin who always hangs around closely whilst you work in the garden.

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  4. I've only visited once, in autumn, so it's fascinating to see Overbeck's in a different season. It looks just as lovely, even when the weather is not playing ball. We were just saying over lunch that we should have more days out during May and June. This is definitely on the list to go back to.

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    1. We were grateful that the rain cleared up otherwise we would not have bothered to visit. I went years and years ago, and do recall just how splendid the views from the gardens are. Do you remember the tortuous road up, I wouldn't like to go at the height of the summer and meet another vehicle on one of the sharp narrow bends.

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  5. What a beautiful place. I've always heard there were subtropical parts of Cornwall, didn't realize Devon had an area like that too. What a view!

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    1. There are plenty subtropical gardens in Devon and Cornwall, and several of them can be visited.

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  6. Another great post about nother great sounding place I have never visited. Ever thought of producing a guide book?

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    1. Next time you are in Devon you should try and visit you would enjoy it

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  7. After such a garden walk, even in not very good weather, it's a great experience and pleasure. Beautiful garden, but I love Robin. Regards.

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    1. Robins are everyone's favourite

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  8. Hello Rosemary, Such a surprising variety of plants, and the longer-range vistas are all magnificent. The house itself doesn't look too shabby, either!
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - The vistas would have been much better had the skies been blue, the house is of no particular architectural merit - it is a typical family seaside Edwardian property, but the garden is wonderful.

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  9. Dearest Rosemary,
    Never thought all those tropical plants would thrive at the top of those cliffs, even though the southwest of England has a very mild climate. Lovely photos you share!
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. Dear Mariette - these Devon and Cornish cliff gardens are really wonderful to visit and see so many unexpected flowers growing - thank you for visiting, it was lovely to hear from you.

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  10. Beautiful photos, as always. This looks like a lovely subtropical garden to wander around. The views are wonderful, too. I would be particularly interested in the plants from Tasmania as I hope to go there one day (to visit a close friend). Those Mexican Lilies do have an air of the Triffid about them!

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    1. The Acacia verticillata bares a strong resemblance to my Callistemon citrinus (bottle brush) which also comes from Australia and Tasmania.

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  11. Overbecks another beautiful garden I never heard of. Second photo is of an outstanding beauty as if it's in another world. I have to put this garden on my wishlist of gardens to visit.

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    1. I am sure that you would enjoy this garden Jenneke and I do hope that you manage to visit it one day.

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  12. Hello Rosemary,
    Despite the overcast day you managed to get some great pictures. The Euphorbia characias wulfeni takes my breath away. This is my first time seeing this plant. I wonder if it would grow in my Irish garden. It is most unusual and looks like a flower with an umbrella protecting it.
    Your posts always educate and amaze,

    Wishing you a great week

    Helen xx

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    1. Hello Helen - you should have no problems at all growing the Euphorbia characias wulfeni in Ireland, but it is best planted in some well drained soil. It is a lovely plant and I love it's limey green colour too - good luck

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  13. What an outstanding view this house and garden have - I can't make my mind up as to whether I like sub-tropical gardens or not - but it is remarkable that they thrive in this country.

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    1. I like the subtropical gardens in Devon and Cornwall because they seem to fit in with their dramatic clifftop surroundings. I planted a couple of small Cordyline Australis (cabbage palm) in our garden here which unexpectedly grew as high as the house. I had to have them chopped down and drilled out because frankly they looked completely wrong in a Cotswold garden.

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  14. What a totally stunning garden. Take the gentle English climate, add a greenhouse or a warm corner and it seems you can grow anything! Beautiful photos, as always.

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    1. Thank you Valerie - so pleased that you enjoyed seeing it.

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  15. HI Rosemary...
    Whenever I visit you, I come away amazed at the beauty...
    It must be magical to visit such places...lucky you!
    And....don't get me started on your adorable Robins!
    Enjoy your week ahead...
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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    1. Hello Linda - it is lovely to see you. Because we are such a small island it is surprising how much diversity we have within a short travelling distance.
      Our Robins are cute little fellow and also extremely tame.

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  16. Very colourful, even in the rain!

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    1. The rain was over but it left its mark on the flowers.

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  17. Delightful scenery and it is amazing what will grow in some areas of this world.
    Good to see Tasmania is represented with the Acacia.
    Your photo of the little Robin is good as is the bird.

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    1. The little Robin allowed me to get up close hence the detail in the photo.

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  18. I'm currently re-planning my front garden...perhaps a few banana plants...ha ha! Fab images Rosemary and a much enjoyed walk around these beautiful gardens.

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    1. I have a banana plant but it grows in the conservatory - no bananas to date though

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  19. Great photos and thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you Blogoratti - glad that you enjoyed the photos.

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  20. I've explored the Devon coastal path years ago but never visited there. My loss as it looks amazing in your photos with the sea views. I was surprised to find out years ago that Iceland also grows it's own bananas and fruit since the 1940s (in natural lava heated greenhouses) and that a Hydroponic near Ullapool in Northern Scotland grows bananas there as well. If there is a will there's a way.

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    1. There is also the fabulous subtropical garden at Inverewe in Wester Ross, and Threave Gardens in Kirkcudbrightshire which both benefit from the warmth of the Gulf Stream.

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  21. Thank you for taking us along. Overbecks is one of the gardens I have longed to visit, but although we have walked close by we have never visited it, as we always have had a dog with us. It does look just as beautiful as I had imagined. Sarah x

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    1. It is in such a lovely location - that is a shame, I think that they only allow guide dogs in the garden.

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  22. Such a beautiful place and garden! I enjoyed seeing it a great deal!

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    1. I am pleased you enjoyed seeing it Amy

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  23. Your little robin looks like the perfect tour guide for this wet, overcast day. Easy to keep track of him with his bright red chest. The palm trees were an unexpected treat to find in your overview shot and the greenhouse seems to be a place of exotic treasures.

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    1. It was lovely to hear from you Rosemary - the garden as a whole is full of exotic plants which do not normally grow out of doors in our country, but the little Robin is something that most of us have living in our gardens all year round.

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