My wife and I first discovered Forde Abbey before we moved to the west country, and now to find it just ten minutes drive away means that we have a very special place to visit on a fine Sunday afternoon, or, of course, any other day of the week.
The surrounding grounds always have something new to offer, from the well-kept kitchen garden to the splendid rockeries and the bog garden, with unusual bed and border plants and trees that require the space provided by the stately grounds to enable them to thrive.
The fountain is a sight to behold – I well remember the first time I heard it start up – the noise it made was unbelievable expelling the winter air bubbles. Enjoy seeing it in action on the webpage.
If you can possibly visit the Abbey in early summer you will be able to see the spectacular Cornus kousa var. chinensis (the Chinese Dogwood) in blossom. Walking towards the rockery gardens, you will find it on the left of the abbey (nr the chapel.)- most probably with an admiring crowd around it. Further across the gardens passing the abbey the lake and fountain and walk further up to the boundary there is an Enkianthus Rubens with stunning red berries that may be flowering early Spring and worth the search.
What was the original Monks Refectory now serves a variety of welcome refreshments. There is an amazing staircase leading up to where the monks used to have their dormitory, but which now just stops at the ceiling – I find that a bit creepy!
I can thoroughly recommend the separate plant sales area – we cannot leave without taking an additional plant for our garden and we have never been disappointed with excellent provenance and sheer horticultural quality run by a knowledgeable and well qualified horticulturist .