Homeyards Botanical Gardens
Homeyards Botanical Gardens were created by Maria Laetitia Kempe Homeyard. Her husband William Newcombe Homeyard had made a fortune as the inventor and manufacturer of LIQUFRUTA - 'positive in its results in the treatment of Bronchitis, Asthma, Catarrh and Whooping Cough'. Ness Cottage at the eastern end of the Gardens was their second home. Following her husband's death in 1927 Mrs Homeyard began work on a succession of building projects including the creation of her 'pleasure ground'. She acquired several of the steeply sloping patchwork of fields above the village and brought in builders Thomas Rider & Sons of Southwark in London. The projects provided work for large teams of unemployed shipwrights, specialist stonemasons and up to 12 gardeners.
The garden she created is an informal terraced arboretum with a level walk along the top providing many glorious views of the Teign estuary and the Jurassic Coast. Features of the Garden include a summer house in the style of a castle where Mrs Homeyards would take tea and play bridge with friends; a pond and rill system and an area in the 'Italianate style'. A number of trees including three fantastic Weeping Beech (Fagus sylvatica 'Pendula') are among the original plantings. More recent specimens such as the Maidenhair Tree (Gingko biloba), Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) and Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) have been added to the Gardens.
Following Mrs Homeyard's death in 1944 the future of the Gardens remained unresolved until they were sold the Teignmouth Town Council for a nominal sum. They opened to the public in 1955. Currently under the stewardship of Teignbridge District Council, admission to the Gardens is free and they are open all year round. A 'blog' maintained by The Friends of Shaldon Botanical Gardens lists items of news and developments in the Gardens: