A pause at Buckfast Abbey

I needed a stopover for my recent trip down to Devon.  I decided to choose somewhere that was not quite where I wanted to be, but that was when I knew I would be ready to stop driving for the day.  I found a hotel close to Buckfast Abbey.  Very close, actually belonging to the Abbey.  Before dinner I decided to clear my head of a day that felt pretty much like I had been driving for most of it and go for a wander.
By the side of the Abbey is the most beautiful lavender garden.  I just sat there for ages, breathing in the scent and watching the bees.  Due to the time of day there was no one else around, the stillness was very welcome.  I am not someone who 'stops' very often, I sat here and thought I really should make more effort to do so.
I admired the willow edging.  I have reason to admire this as I am intending to do something very similar on my driveway later this year.  It was one of those moments when the thing I was thinking about was suddenly in front of me and confirmed that my thinking was a good idea.
To one side of the gardens is the Physic Garden.  This is made up of edible and medicinal planting.  I enjoy a good Physic Garden, and this is a good one.
It is divided into four and is not really that big a space.
It is thought out and well labelled.
and I loved this quarter most of all. The water was a sudden calm.
I was not sure if these hollyhocks were meant to be in the fig tunnel, but they looked great.
A quick walk across the lawn and there is the sensory garden.  Again this is beautifully maintained.  I have rarely seen such well behaved stachys.
There are lots of places to sit and let the world go by.
and lots of good planting.  I really enjoyed my wander around the grounds.  I do not know how busy they get during the day so I can only say that early evening and early morning they are a great place to get some peace.  It is probably unnecessary for me to add, but I will anyway, I have no religion at all so the christian basis was wasted on me.  I enjoyed the space for what it is, a place designed for contemplation and it works very well at this.
However, carrying on a theme, as I drove to my first garden visit of the day I passed this old looking cross.  Don't ask me where, it was somewhere between Buckfastleigh and Crapstone (I just want to write Crapstone and snigger in a juvenile fashion, sorry).

Other visits related to this trip:

Wyndcliffe Court


Hauser and Wirth

Iford Manor


  1. I love me a well-labelled garden. I feel like there's so much to learn on the horticultural side, and when I see a great plant or combination but no labels then I feel like I'll never be able to replicate it.

    Those white labels seem a bit bright in the photos, though, and I wonder whether if you're trying to do a reconstruction of a medieval physic garden the labels don't detract from it. Did they blend a bit better in real life? Cameras can play funny tricks!

    1. They didn't blend in hugely, no, but they reflecting a bit in the light.

  2. Buckfast abbey have the National collection of Lavenders, their garden is a beautiful place to sit, so peaceful, although it gets very busy during the day. Glad you enjoyed your visit.

    1. thanks - that's useful to know. I was very lucky, I had the place to myself and it was blissful.


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