Caerhays is one of the country’s great gardens; the moist and misty atmosphere adding to the luxuriant tumbling landscape that is reminiscent of south west China where many of the plants originated. Owned since the 1870s by members of the Williams family, the best known of whom, J C Williams, was a great supporter of the plant explorers George Forrest and E H Wilson. He was also a keen hybridiser, renowned for his work with camellias (x williamsii), rhododendrons and daffodils. Spread over a hillside facing to the sea, the garden of over 100 acres contains more than 80 champion trees as well as a host of rare and exotic shrubs, notably magnolias which should be at their best this early in the year.
DGT members will have a special guided tour with the head gardener and his assistant. We may also be able to enjoy a tour of the Castle which was built about 1801 to designs by John Nash, this would be an additional cost of £4.00 per person and numbers may have to be limited.
A coach will leave from Heathfield (near Newton Abbot) where cars can be left at about 8.30 am, and would collect passengers at Exeter (Sowton), Okehampton and Launceston. The cost of coach, admission, garden tour and coffee will be about £40, depending on numbers. Picnics can be taken, but there is also a large café. We require early expressions of interest to gauge whether the trip is viable. Please email [email protected] to register your interest.