A year of Garden visiting part 4

Following on from Part 1Part 2

and Part 3

It’s all about the plants.

Following on from the Monsoons at RHS Rosemoor at the end of August 2019 we visited Bicton Park,  a place I was not very familiar with, but we saw a leaflet for it and thought we’d give it a try. We were presented with many acres of parkland-style planting with some quite formal well-planted beds of seasonal and tropical style planting.

We explored the beds and borders with me boring my partner by naming all the plants and informing him how tender each plant is, I repaid his tolerance with a rather splendid Cream Tea in the cafe.

Bicton Park is known for its Glasshouses, in particular, its Palm house which was built in the 1820s in a curvilinear design. Apparently, you can have a civil marriage ceremony inside.

Shortly afterward we went on a bit of an adventure to another location we had seen on a tourist leaflet, The Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary.

The Sanctuary is open every day of the year with free admission. There are a Cafe and shop, which were both very busy. We spent a couple of happy hours here stroking many Donkeys. I saw the Relocated RHS Chelsea Flower Show Silver Medal-winning garden ‘Donkeys Matter’.   Whilst there we learned that Donkeys are becoming scarce on the African continent due to the Chinese Donkey skin trade,  which is used to manufacture traditional Chinese medicines. this is having a negative impact on Donkey populations and the native people that use the animals in their daily lives.

All very worrying and depressing.

We purchased several items from the shop and donated a few quid. The Donkeys here are the ones that have been rehabilitated well enough to be on public display, we were told there is a second site which is not open to the public where the more unwell and traumatized animals live. The Donkeys we saw were indeed the lucky ones.

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