JohnSnowdonFrom John Snowdon, the owner of Marwood Hill Garden.

Dear Visitors

We are keen for you to really enjoy your visit to these glorious and peaceful gardens.

My uncle, the late Dr. Jimmy Smart, moved to Marwood with his family, including myself, in 1949. He had been a ship’s doctor during the six years of the Second World War, during which time three of his ships were respectively mined, torpedoed and bombed. He was awarded the MBE after swimming from raft to raft, treating survivors, when HMS Hermes was sunk with the loss of two-thirds of the ship’s company.

After the War he settled in North Devon as a general practitioner and anaesthetist, but found time to create the bit of paradise you find here.

From about 1980, he was a full-time gardener and remained very active in the garden until he died in 2002. Much respected for his expertise, knowledge, creativity and enthusiasm, he was awarded the Royal Horticultural Society’s prestigious Victoria Medal of Honour [VMH].

For obvious reasons my family is very proud of what Jimmy Smart created and developed, along with Malcolm Pharoah, the Head Gardener, and the other staff who have worked with him. Malcolm has now retired but continues to be very active working as a volunteer with the new Head Gardener and the garden team. We are determined to continue to develop the Garden and are confident that you’ll see evidence that this is happening.

There is a small group of full-time garden staff, but I must also acknowledge the considerable contribution of our wonderful team of volunteers. Their hard work has helped keep the 20 acres under control – but I hope not too much under control! Native plants can be beautiful too!

Now we have a thriving Garden Tea Room that again has a small group of part-time staff under the supervision of a Catering Manager.

Direction of the Garden and the Garden Tea Room is in the very capable hands of the Property Manager, Patricia Stout, whose contribution to maintaining and developing them has been enormous.

All proceeds from admission charges, the sale of plants and brochures, etc., and the Garden Tea Room, go towards the costs of running and maintaining the Garden.

If you have any comments or suggestions, we should be pleased to receive them. We plan to continue to develop our website, so please keep logging on and we’ll be glad if you respond to that as well.

With very best wishes and thanks for visiting us.

John Snowdon