Birthday trip to Bicton Botanical Gardens

Orchid flowering in the Bicton Botanical Garden

A Birthday Day Out

Last Saturday was my birthday and since my fiancée and I are on thrifty street at the moment we decided to go for a cheap day out to mark the occasion. What’s the best thing to do on a cool and rainy day in Devon? We decided to make a short trip to the Bicton Botanical Garden near Honiton. Despite it only being half an hour away from where we live we’ve never been there before. However we found it was an RHS partner garden so I would get in free with my membership.

How to get there

 

Bicton Botanical Garden Map
Bicton Botanical Garden Map

It’s well signposted from the a30 and took us about 2 hours to see what we wanted to. However at £8.95 for an adult the ticket was a little pricey.

List of Areas

  • Glasshouses – Arid, Tropical, Temperate
  • Italian Garden
  • American Garden
  • Mediterranean Garden
  • Rose Garden
  • Woodland
  • Winter Garden

What to see

Despite it being the very beginning of January there was plenty to see. The witch hazel was in full bloom and the camellias were just about to burst.

Witch-hazel in bloom. Hamamelis
Witch-hazel in bloom. Hamamelis

The main disappointment was the children’s play areas and the gift shop. I understand botanical gardens need to generate funds to continue, and it can’t be easy, but these areas blotted the grounds. The children’s area was run down and wasn’t very inspiring. The gift shop was mostly empty, perhaps they were doing a stock-check, but only contained the usual tat found in every run down garden centre.

The best part of the visit was seeing their collection of mature trees that are all looking beautiful.
Despite the storm that had swept through in the days before and the local flooding, the gardens looked immaculate. The casualties had already been cleared and shredded and all the paths were open.

Camellia flowering
Camellia flowering

It’s a lovely way to spend a couple of hours. Even better to have 2 quiet hours with the other half.

Other botanical garden visits

Mount Tomah, NSW, Australia

RHS Wisley, Surrey, UK

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