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Docton Mill

Nr. Elmscott
EX39 6EA

From February to May, narcissi abound, including Mount Hood, Barrett Browning, Semper Avanti and February Gold, while the wild undergrowth of ferns, bluebells, campion, wild garlic and violets are left intact.
Great oaks still dominate much of the prominent hillside, and in the summer, the riverbanks billow with native ferns and wild flowers. A wet bank - home to native stellaria and bog pimpernel - just above the mill was developed as a bog garden (in summer a fabulous fusion of astibes, primulas, hostas and lingularia) focused around two small, connected ponds, crowded with waterlilies.
Lower down, by the old orchard, the only dry area of the valley, there are a mixture of shrubs and perennials on a predominantly gold and burgundy theme, in echo of the colour of the moorland hills, richly coated in heather and gorse.

Visitors to the garden will be provided with a guide to the magnolia collection which was planted in Autumn 1999, as a memorial to Iris Pugh, the original creator of the garden. The collection is centred on a sheltered, one acre lawn, tilled in Iris' time over the former miller's donkey paddock (Caleb's field). The 'Docton Mill' magnolias have potential to grow into great, long-lived trees, to see out the 21st century. They originated exclusively from Burncoose Nurseries, near Redruth, Cornwall, and include many famous varieties.
Situated only 1,400 yards from the famous Spekes Mill Mouth Coastal Waterfall, the garden at Docton Mill was created in 1980 around the existing river, waterways, leats and ponds. Docton Mill and its adjoining leat, head wier and tailrace, have been traced back to Saxon times, probably before the Norman conquest. The mill stopped working in 1910, simply because it ran out of business. Its last big customer, so far known, was Gifford the Baker, still in business today at Hartland.

General Information:

  • Plant sales available.

  • Light Lunches, Refreshments and Cream Teas available all day.

    Gold medal award winning garden 2005
    Voted best cream tea in N Devon 2007
    Voted best tea room in N Devon 2009

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  • Directions

    From N.Devon via A39 to Hartland - Stoke - left turn following signs to Elmscott - garden signposted from A39.
    From N. Cornwall via the A39 turning left at the WestCountry Inn following signs for YHA and Elmscott - at YHA continue straight on, gardens signposted.
    Situated within 15 minutes of Clovelly, Hartland Abbey, Hartland Quay and the Milky Way.

    Docton Mill Postcode for SatNav: EX39 6EA


    +44 (0)1237 441 369

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