Russet House

In September 2018 Alan & Liz moved to the village of Talaton in East Devon having lived at Greenacres in Bibury for the previous 21 years. For Liz it's a return to Devon having left in 1981. Alan also has strong family ties with Devon as his maternal grandparents were Devonian. Initially we lived in rented accommodation while we progressed with work on Russet House, a house that we purchased a few hundred yards away. We moved into Russet House on the 8th of May 2019. For the first few months almost all our efforts were concentrated on getting the house as we wanted it. Towards the end of 2019 our efforts began to move towards the garden.

As we had plans for a major revamp at the front involving a new entrance our efforts were concentrated at the back with work getting fully underway during the 1st lockdown in March 2020 and was largely completed by the autumn of that year. Work finally started on our new entrance in July 2020. The contract gave a timescale of 5 weeks. The guys that turned up to do the work said that 5 weeks was sales would take 8 weeks. 54 weeks later work was completed! It's fair to say that the project was a nightmare with the contractor being totally out of their depth but we got there in the end and are pleased with the result. The delay meant that we missed the autumn 2020 planting season and work on the garden didn't get properly underway until April 2021. We surprised ourselves with the progress we were able to make and were able to welcome visitors as one of the 11 gardens in the Talaton Open Gardens weekend in early September 2021. We're not quite finished (a garden never is!) but the end is in sight.

We did open our garden at Greenacres to visitors on village open garden days, for charity events and, latterly, as an NGS 'yellow book' garden. We had so many favourable comments from visitors during the Talaton Open Gardens weekend that we applied to the NGS to be included as an NGS garden. We were accepted and opened as an NGS garden in 2022 and 2023.

On the following pages are details of the garden and it also shows the work involved in getting to the current position.