The Gardens

The three Cherubeer gardens form a small hamlet in rolling farmland at 500 ft at the top of a SW facing valley. The location is exposed and the soil a stony acid clay. Despite these conditions the gardens provide a wealth of colour from snowdrops and cyclamen in February right through the season. Higher Cherubeer, featured on BBC Open Gardens programme, holds a National Collection of Cyclamen (excluding persicum Cvs.) [Plant Heritage link]

Higher Cherubeer is the largest of the three gardens, at about one acre, and has been developed since 1991. Initially it was planted up with fast growing native trees and basketry willows to provide shelter and structure for future plantings. The garden, now sheltered, provides a wide range of micro climates and is planted for 12 months of interest.

The season starts in January and February with the woodland paths lined with over 100 named snowdrops, cyclamen, hellebores

and winter flowering shrubs. March continues with a succession of spring flowering bulbs and herbaceous including Erythroniums, Anemones, Scillas, Brunners and Pulmonaria. In poor weather the alpine house provides refuge and is used to display plants in season.

In early summer the herbaceous planting takes over with hardy Geraniums, Astrantia, Dicentra, Aquilegia and continues with roses, Clematis and lilies. By late summer and early autumn the Cyclamen collection continues the show right through to Christmas.

With the high  rainfall  in the SW, gravel and paving form an important all weather route within the garden. To aid drainage and provide structure Tom has levelled much of the garden with drystone terracing in local style using local stone.

Wildlife is encouraged and nectar and pollen rich flowers have been chosen. Nest boxes, bird feeders, log piles are all included to provide a rich habitat for native species. There is evidence of dormice in the hedge banks and barn owls nest locally.

There are homemade teas and on snowdrop days soup and rolls are available. There are also plant sales.