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A mini sub-tropical paradise – a gardener’s garden at Chilcombe

To drive to Chilcombe is an eye-stretching experience. The lane dips then climbs away from the A35 soaring to a high plateau and spreading the coastline of all Lyme Bay before you with an extravagance that makes you feel that nature might have gone just a little over the top in the natural beauty department. Over to the left, behind a screen of beeches is an area of outstanding not-so-natural beauty, the celebrity garden of the artist John Hubbard. And alongside that is the astonishing secret garden of the celebrity garden’s gardener, Andy Lane.

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Mr Snail At My Lettuces!

Every garden is full of eyes watching and noses sniffing as you dig a deep hole, fill it with compost and install a carefully chosen plant. As early as next morning, you may realise that you have given an expensive treat to some ungrateful roe deer, mouse or slug. If the plant does survive its planting, the buds, flowers and especially the fruit will later be under attack.

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