Perching on high cliffs overlooking the Salcombe estuary in Devon is Overbeck’s, which was the Edwardian seaside home of Otto Overbeck.
I visited the house and lovely gardens recently when my husband and I were on holiday.
The warm microclimate in this part of the world means that rare and exotic plants are able to flourish, including the amazing tall Chusan palms above in the Palm Garden.
Plus there are tree ferns from Australia, watsonia from South Africa and plants from the Far East, South America and New Zealand.
In the Statue Garden, which is the most formal part of the gardens, agapanthus were blooming. And in a sheltered area, there were even banana trees.
Most of the garden is informally laid out, with meandering paths which take you up and down the steep terraces. Every now and then, you catch sight of the stunning views over the beautiful coastline.
Once you’ve visited the gardens, you may like to take a look inside the house which contains quirky inventions, natural history collections, toys and old photographs of Salcombe, Overbeck’s and shipwrecks. Plus there’s a shop and tea room.
The property and gardens are now run by the National Trust and as Otto wished, part of Overbeck’s is now used as a youth hostel.
Visiting Overbeck’s is a perfect day out for families who enjoy exploring or the keen gardener who is looking for inspiration.
So do pop in if you’re down in the West Country.
P.S. If you’re wondering who Otto Overbeck was…he was a research chemist by profession, but was also an accomplished linguist, artist, inventor and collector. Born in England, he was from a distinguished Dutch family.
(Images : Rona Wheeldon for Flowerona)