The RHS’s showpiece garden, Rosemoor, has 65 acres with 200 varieties of rose. And that’s just the beginning – there’s every plant imaginable and every colour in the spectrum. There are vegetables galore, soft fruit, orchards and woodland walks. It takes a while to see it properly; the highlights are all accessible within an hour or so, but if you can spend the day here, do. Any visitor to Devon with an interest in flora will certainly not regret it.
Come here on a sunny day, any time of the year, and take your time to breathe in the scents and sights. The knowledge of your fellow visitors can be intimidating: on my last visit a voice boomed out: ‘Did you tell Daddy about the pelargonium?’. The child looked about five.
The RHS runs daily events and exhibitions, as well as courses, and the Reading Room is open to non-members who can browse the 1,300 reference books. The award-winning Garden Kitchen serves hot meals (see opposite) while the Wisteria Tea Room, part of Lady Anne’s House, is open in the summer.
Plant lovers must visit The Cool Garden, The Model Gardens, The Winter Garden and The Cherry Garden. Beyond the flora and fauna, visitors can take a stroll to the Bicentenary Arboretum or the Stumpery, a sculptural backdrop of gnarled tree limbs and small stumps.