I thought this might be worthwhile adding to my website for a few reasons. Firstly, because this plant nurseries has been around for a long time and it's story may be of some interest. Secondly, although nurseries and garden centres can be fairly generic, there are some features which are specifically local, or use local materials, and how they fit into the landscape. One of the local features can be seen in the photo below...the ubiquitous Devon thatched roof on the archway over the entrance to the gardens.
But mostly, because it's off the bus route for me and I've always wanted to visit, my friend suggested a trip out there during the summer of 2013. I thought it was a pretty nice place to have a wander around and take photos of and we've been back there several times, sometimes with other friends, and often as 'ladies who lunch'. :)
Otter Nurseries celebrated it's 50th anniversary in 2014, going back to 1964 when Marilyn and Malcolm White first started growing plants and vegetables for markets in the East Devon area, whilst living on site in a caravan. Now one of the largest garden centres in Britain, the Ottery St Mary complex comprises growing fields, polytunnels and glasshouses occupying more than 100 acres in which their own plants, shrubs and trees are grown.
This delightful area in the gardens consists of Japanese style gazebo & ornaments, and a pond containing waterlillies and some lovely Koi Carp. I did wonder if it had been added to commemorate the twinning of Ottery St Mary and the Japanese town of Otterie, or whether it was just a coincidence. I did email the nurseries and asked them, but unfortunately I didn't receive a reply. It's a nice thought though, isn't it...but please don't quote me on this as it really is just an idea off the top of my head.
The nurseries are situated a short way out of the town of Ottery St Mary, and below can be seen part of it's delightful and natural setting in the East Devon countryside.
I didn't mean to do this, and only noticed it when I had the prints back, but the lady statue below looks as if she's hiding behind the notice while she's getting dressed! Perhaps she just had a dip in the pond. ;)
A nest of fairies around one of the water features, photo below, and below that are the usual areas where statues, pots, fencing, garden tools and features can be bought. There are also indoor areas where clothes and glittery tat are available, a large restaurant and humungously long glasshouses where indoor, basket & bedding plants can be purchased.
I didn't take all that many photos on my first visit, and managed to have taken none at all of the glass houses and very few of the gardens, as I was also busy buying plants for myself. Some of the areas didn't have any interest for me...especially the tat and other non-garden shopping. However, I loved the sheds, below, in which there were more practical and 'down to earth' (pun intended) things for the garden, along with some of the funky statues and the gardens themselves.
Here be dragons!
...and there be pots! :)
...and even more pots.
And finally, another view of the gazebo.
Some more photos, along with these, can also be seen in the Photo Gallery album.
EDIT: having visited several times now since writing this up, and having a lot more photos, I will be adding different photos and more information to the article...when I can! ;)