The Newt in Somerset

On our trip to Somerset we popped into the Newt Hotel garden to visit the newly landscaped grounds. Previously called Hadspen House, it has been gardened for centuries, including by designer and writer Penelope Hobhouse. I loved walking along the wooden walkway through woodland at the entrance. Then, you enter through the main gardens which have been highly landscaped, including the interior of the existing walled garden. Walking around was interesting because huge banks of rosemary and time were still being planted, a shiny new glasshouse had cacti and succulents waiting to be potted up and behind it a new shade bed to be full of ferns. Everything is spanking new, from the restaurant with delicious meals to a set of toad statues squirting water at each other which children were loving. The hotel, opening in late summer leads to a working kitchen garden full of edibles and the central walled garden has over 250 varieties of apple being trained. I’ll be interested to revisit once the landscaping and plants have had time to weather in but seeing it at the start was fascinating and it’s quite something what has been achieved already. It felt like one of the UK’s new theme park gardens like Eden Project and RHS Wisley, on a scale rarely seen, where plants and wildlife are the main attractions.

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Jack Wallington

I'm an RHS qualified garden designer living in Clapham, London who loves growing plants and designing with them. Follow me on Twitter.

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