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28 October 2014
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Greenway begins to blossom
The view of the river
The view of the river from Greenway
Photos: Belinda Dixon
The National Trust has reached the halfway point in its 10-year plan at Greenway, the former family home of Agatha Christie in South Devon.
BBC Devon has been to see how the gardens are taking shape.
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Great Outdoors
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National Trust: Greenway

Greenway Ferry

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GREENWAY CONTACTS

Greenway Infoline: Tel 01803 842382 for opening times and admission fees.

You can also ring this number if you are interested in voluntary work at Greenway.

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Greenway opens for its third season in March 2005 - and the gardens are now really starting to blossom.

The National Trust was gifted the grounds of Greenway on the banks of the River Dart in 2000, by the owners, Anthony and Rosalind Hicks.

Greenway is of course best known for being the family home of the late Mrs Hicks' mother, Torquay-born crime writer Dame Agatha Christie. Mrs Hicks died last year at the age of 85.

Mr and Mrs Hicks were keen gardeners and did much to develop the gardens.

Pathway
One of Greenway's winding paths
But when the trust took over the management of 300-acres at Greenway, a lot of work had to be done in order for them to be shown to the public.

The restoration runs into millions of pounds, and the public has helped towards raising the money via the Greenway Appeal.

Before first opening in 2002, staff and volunteers worked tirelessly to clear the paths and improve access. A visitor reception and cafe were also built.

The gardens were eventually opened to the public some 18 months after the trust acquired them.

The garden has been measured and mapped, with the tagging of 2,700 significant trees and woody plants.

Pond and view
River views from the Kwan Yin Pond
But the work at Greenway continues.

During the winter of 2004-5, more improvements have been made and the gardens are now really taking shape.

There are some fantastic garden ornaments too, thanks to the generosity of the Hicks family.

Among the donated pieces of art is a Japanese bronze statue of the Garden of Mercy, Kwan Yin. This can be found at the Kwan Yin Pond, where there are also camellias, buddlejas and Rhododendrons - as well as views to the river.

Another sculpture is Greenway Bird, placed at the Bird Pond. And the Mother and Child statue by Bridget McCrumm can be found reclining on a field of cyclamen repandum and narcissi.

Other gardens at Greenway are the Camellia Garden (amazing in Spring); The Fernery, or Fountain Garden; the Top Garden, the Putting Green, the South Walled Garden, and the North Walled Garden.

Mother and child statue
The Mother and Child statue
There's also the Hydrangea Walk, the Bluebell Bank, the Far End Path, the River Walk, and woodland.

The trust is keen to ensure the garden retains its almost wild feel - created by past owners over hundreds of years.

It's also anxious not to disrupt the lives of local people, which is why visitor numbers are restricted and people must book car parking places in advance.

Greenway is open in 2005 from 3rd March - 9th October, from 10.30am to 5pm.

Admission is £3.90 for adults and £1.95 for children. Visitors arriving by "green ways" pay £3.25 (£1.65 for children).

Visit the National Trust's Greenway website for more details - see the link on the left of this page.

* Greenway managers are looking for volunteers to help with garden stewarding, office work, and at the boat house. Contact Greenway at 01803
842382.

Article written: 10th February 2005.







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