By kind permission of Magnus and Victoria Goodlad.

Bowringsleigh is a large historic house in a beautiful valley with uninterrupted views of woods and fields. It has been in the ownership of the same family since 1696. The gardens mostly lie to the sides and behind the house and are a mix of formal and informal with lawns, ponds, hidden paths, shrub beds and a spectacular arboretum.

Until 2 years ago the property was in the hands of Michael and Nicky Manisty. It has now been handed over to the next generation. They are not gardeners, so Nicky is still managing the garden. In the 35 years that Nicky and Michael lived here they created a fascinating plantsman’s garden, full of spring bulbs, interesting shrubs and a huge range of trees, which are Nicky’s passion. One of their earliest plantings was an enormous spreading Shirotae cherry in the middle of the lawn. It was a spectacular feature but at the age of 30 it was beginning to decline and was removed, leaving a little replacement Shirotae for a future generation to enjoy.

In 2000 the planting of the arboretum was begun. Over the next 20 years it expanded to give a home to many magnificent varieties of Magnolia in all shades of pink, purple and yellow, as well as rare Camellias, cherry trees and many other trees of special interest in Spring or Autumn. Winding grass paths lead you around ensuring that you don’t miss any treats.

This is a truly ‘Plant Heritage’ garden: you would go a long way to find such a rich variety of trees and shrubs being so expertly grown and cared for and in such a lovely setting.

Nicky will give us an introduction to the garden at the start of our visit.


From Kingsbridge take the A381 west towards Salcombe. After ½ mile pass through West Alvington and take the first turning on the right, then follow the Plant Heritage signs.

Event Start Date 10 April 2024 2.30pm
Event End Date 10 April 2024 5.00pm
Cost Booking essential- Members £6, Guests £7 to include tea/coffee and cake
Event Contact Sally Dean
Telephone 01548 821714
Contact sallymdean@gmail.com

eg: plant genus, common name, county, collection holder name.