Clovelly Court Gardens. Lucy Halliday, Head Gardener

Clovelly Court Gardens crops are at last really soaking up the rain and filling out. The squash and pumpkins have thrown out a new flush of growth, though for some of the vines it was a little too late. The fine butternut squash variety ‘Tiana’ which we chose for this year is performing as reliably as ever at least. The celeriac are also beginning to swell and with good September weather they may still prove a successful crop despite having very much resented the dry weather over summer. Our Oca plants have done so well that the Guild of Oca Breeders was impressed enough to circulate my photo from the gardens on their Twitter feed for which we were most grateful. All good publicity.

As is seasonal, much of our work has again revolved around pruning as the South border stone fruit and pears became the target of the week. We are also getting in to a great new routine for fulfilling orders for the Red Lion which we hope will be mutually beneficial so we have done a great deal of harvesting. We’ve been pleased to send them juicy melons and fresh figs amongst the fresh produce this week.

At the Visitor Centre we have moved our display indoors as the autumn weather approaches and takings for produce and feedback about it are very positive. We have also launched our new gardens shop in the beautiful old Apple Store. This fantastic historic feature of the gardens has not been on display before so we thought we’d show it off as it provides a larger, more secure and more weather proof spot from which to sell produce.
Clovelly Court Gardens
With the rain come mowing and hoeing again as the mild weather has spurred a flush of grass and weed growth. We have a new bit of kit to deal with the weeds on the kitchen garden paths organically however. This will quickly burn off the weed growth along the paths which are too stoney to hoe. The softer, damper soil has made for perfect planting weather for our curly kale which will be cropping in early spring. Sadly many of our summer cabbage crop responded to the unaccustomed rain by tearing themselves asunder with the huge swell of growth. This is simply a loss we have to accept in a season of extremes. The good news is our later planting of red drumhead cabbages are looking great.

Our annual flowers are also keeping up a good display thanks to help from our newest regular volunteer recruits, bringing our total to 6. We owe a huge debt of thanks to these amazing local villagers who give their time for the joy of gardening.

More 4 filming in Devon & Cornwall

More 4 filming in Devon & Cornwall started on 8th August at Clovelly for their upcoming series about life in Devon & Cornwall.  As part of 3 days of filming, covering the life of the village and what goes on behind the scenes, they filmed The Hon. John Rous and Mr Mukti Mitchell, Director of Mitchell & Dickinson at Crazy Kate’s Cottage, the home of Ms. Ellie Jarvis.  John Rous was inspecting a recently finished installation of thermal efficiency measures at the property including loft insulation, room in roof insulation, draught proofing and a unique, virtually invisible secondary glazing system for period and listed properties.  The heritage harbour cottage named “Crazy Kate’s” got its name because of the sad story of a fisherman’s wife who watched her husband drown in Clovelly bay, which turned her mind.

Mr Rous, Owner of the village said “We are undertaking a 5 year programme to improve the thermal efficiency of the 120 listed homes in Clovelly, which is being implemented by Mitchell & Dickinson Ltd of Bideford, Devon.  We are about half way through the programme and have had reports from some tenants that their fuel bills have halved, in one case from £2,400 a year to £1200 a year.  I am particularly pleased with the CosyGlazing system of secondary glazing because it is virtually invisible so preserves the character of the properties, as well as making tenants warmer.  It also allows the windows to open as usual enabling regular ventilation which is essential to keep the buildings in good condition.”

Mr Mitchell commented “It is an honour and a pleasure to work with Mr Rous and the Clovelly Estate Company.  Through insulating this iconic heritage village we are not only improving the quality of life of residents here but also achieving the Governments new Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards which apply to all rented properties.  The project is leading the way nationally for the listed property sector by proving that Britain’s beautiful historic properties can be brought up to 21st Century standards of energy efficiency, whilst preserving the character and beauty that we love so much.  It is good for people, planet and your pocket.”

Ms Ellie Jarvis is also one of the team that have won awards for Clovelly in the Britain in Bloom Contests.  Last year they won a regional award and this year they have been entered into the National Awards.  This is one reason why Ellie’s window boxes look so fantastic!

Crazy Kate's Cottage

More 4 are filming in villages and towns across the Southwest to make the programme, which is expected to be broadcast next year (2019).  The series about life in Devon & Cornwall is a result of the success of their previous series called “The Yorkshire Dales and The Lakes”.

Clovelly Gig Regatta

August 18, 2018 is when the West Country boasts a long tradition of racing pilot gigs. Gig racing is exciting and strenuous, with crews reaching speeds of 9 knots in North Devon’s powerful tidal waters.

You’re assured an exhilarating day’s racing. So come along and cheer on the brave crews!

Normal admission charges apply

National Britain in Bloom judging day – Blog by Lucy Halliday, Head Gardener

National Britain in Bloom – judging day at Clovelly. 

The judges visited Clovelly village on 6th August and I hope it will be as big a success as the Clovelly Community Gardening Group could make it.

They also saw a working garden and work in progress and seemed to really take on board our work so far as well as our hopes and plans for the future. We took a decision along with the Clovelly Community Gardening Group to go with horticultural integrity rather than any sugar coating.  Purely for the judges as it has been an exceptionally challenging growing season so far.  

It was lovely to have this met with a positive reception. We are really in the big leagues with the Nationals, so it was a pleasure and an honour to meet the judges and once again represent Clovelly with such a lovely gardening team.

Gig naming ceremony. Blog by Ellie Jarvis

Gig naming ceremony – by the oldest pilot gig club in N. Devon

Headon Home. Amanda Lamb

Gig naming ceremony photos, Ellie Jarvis

The Gig Club celebrated the launch of its brand new fibreglass gig boat on Sunday August 5th.  Television presenter, Amanda Lamb, officially named the boat, ‘Headon Home’, by spraying a bottle of fizz over its bow. 

Launched from Clovelly Lifeboat slip to cheers from the crowd of gig club members and lifeboat crew, as well as friends, families and well-wishers. The naming ceremony took place on Clovelly Lifeboat Day. The day was chosen especially because the new gig is named in honour of Clovellian and former lifeboat coxswain, Richard Headon. He was awarded the RNLI Silver Medal in 1882, after saving 34 lives in his 12 years of service.

Traditionally, gig boats would carry pilots to meet incoming ships so they could guide them through the treacherous waters of the North Devon coastline.  Consequently, gigs would race against each other to show their speed. And there is now a thriving gig racing scene throughout the southwest and indeed, around the world.

Gig club members will be training in the newly launched ‘Headon Home’ for the upcoming Clovelly Gig Regatta on 18th August.  The new fibreglass frame is lighter than traditional wooden boats. It is therefore easier to manoeuvre the boat across the pebble stones in Clovelly harbour, as well as making it easier for training.

Amanda Lamb explained that she loves Clovelly and has been visiting the village for many years.  The gig naming ceremony and gig-rowing was her first experience.  Admiring the strength of the all-female crew who rowed her out of the harbour into Bideford Bay, she was struck by the peace she felt whilst on board. Amanda commented upon the wonderful sound of the oars working in symmetry.  Looking back at Clovelly from the calm sea, it was even more beautiful on such a glorious summer’s day.

Lifeboat Weekend in aid of the R.N.L.I.

4th & 5th August 2018 is when this popular event takes place and is a celebration of the Clovelly lifeboat and its volunteer crew.

On Saturday, there will be a 2 mile sponsored sea swim from Bucks Mills to Clovelly.

Sunday will be a fun-packed day with games, competitions, entertainments, food and drink, music and other family fun in and around the harbour.

The Lifeboat House will be open to visitors and there’ll be operational displays by the Clovelly lifeboat.

Normal admission charges apply

Clovelly Maritime Festival

Sunday 21st July 2024

Watch the exciting Clovelly Cup yacht rally against a backdrop of live music, street entertainment, activities and games for the whole family. Join us for a day full of fun, all in aid of The Mission to Seafarers.