Perhaps one of the tests of a great garden is it's ability to charm even in the rain. Rain there was aplenty as the inevitable Dartmoor deluge stopped the Socks getting out of the car for ten minutes when they arrived at "Carol Klein's favourite garden" the Garden House, Buckland Monachorum.
The garden didn't just charm, it wowed! Although the South African garden was sodden and most of the pictures taken from the cover of a large umbrella, the rain had bought a new dimension to it, hanging crystal raindrops on the profusion of dieramas and thalictrum and adding a watery shine to the leaves. Even the fountains of grasses had lost none of their exuberance and the interplanting of flowering plants was so mesmerizingly vibrant - the Sock found it difficult to drag herself away.
The rain accentuated the overall lusciousness of the gardens creating an extraordinary green opulence throughout.
So a wet afternoon well spent.
The Sock is informed by Martyn Cox that there is actually an even more interesting garden about two minutes down the lane from The Garden House - 'Wildside' (only open to the public on Thursdays) newly created by Keith Wiley, who was the former head gardener at The Garden House. A Channel 4 television programme is currently being filmed there following the Wileys during a year of their endeavours balancing painting/gardening/nursery work (due to be broadcast later in 2009).
If Wildside has even a smattering of the interest of the Garden House then this promises to be a real goody!