Visitors to the conservatory at Dunster Castle will now be able to identify the dozens of plants that flourish in there, thanks to a beautiful book containing original watercolours painted by a local artist.
Over several months, Annie Boniface – a member of Minehead’s University of the Third Age – set up her easel early in the morning before the castle opened to paint each of the plants for this special book.
Information about the plants accompanies each of the paintings should visitors wish to try their hand at growing any of the plants for themselves.
Ms Boniface said: “It’s a pleasure to be asked to paint the illustrations in this book. I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.
“I hope the castle’s visitors enjoy looking at my watercolours as much as I’ve enjoyed painting them.”
Sarah Allen, assistant visitor experience manager at Dunster Castle, designed the book’s layout.
She said: “It was really important to us that the new interpretation was in keeping with the style of the Victorian conservatory.”
Dunster is a National Trust property and is an ancient castle and comfortable country home with dramatic vistas and subtropical gardens.
Dramatically sited on a wooded hill, a castle has existed here since at least Norman times, with an impressive medieval gatehouse and ruined tower giving a reminder of its turbulent history.
The castle that can be seen today became a lavish country home during the 19th-Century for the Luttrell family, who lived here for 600-years.
The castle boasts spectacular views toward the Bristol channel, the Quantock hills and up to the moors of Exmoor.