10 spring gardens to visit in Dorset

PUBLISHED: 16:30 20 February 2014 | UPDATED: 16:43 20 February 2014

Frankham Farm

Frankham Farm


Despite the awful weather NGS (National Gardens Scheme) garden owners have been busy getting ready for the new season. Here is a selection of some of the Dorset gardens which have displays of spring bulbs, hellebores and fritillaries

Hellebores at Q in BridportHellebores at Q in Bridport

Q - open on Mother’s Day

A town garden where every inch counts. The themed rooms reflects the owners many interests including unusual spring bulbs, 100+ clematis plus other climbers, trees, herbaceous plants, shrubs and bedding plants, water features and fruit trees. Visit on Mothering Sunday (30 March) and each visiting mum will receive a small gift, special cakes will also be available for the occasion too.

Open: 16 & 30 March (2pm-4.30pm)

Where: 113 Bridport Road, Dorchester, DT1 2NH


Frankham Farm

3½-acre garden in west Dorset, created back in the Sixties by the late Jo Earle for year-round interest. Garden features a wide variety of well grown plants, unusual labelled shrubs and trees from around the world. Spring bulbs a major feature. Teas available. No dogs.

Open: 16 March (2pm-5pm)

Where: Ryme Intrinseca, Sherborne, DT9 6JT


Manor Farm

Admire displays of hellebore and spring bulbs at this garden near Wimborne, then browse the stalls of R & D Plants who will be selling lots of different hellebores. Teas available.

Open: 22 & 23 February (12-3pm)

Where: Hampreston, Wimborne, BH21 7LX



This 6 acre garden in Shillingstone has over 200 trees including the mature and unusual. The garden is a mix of formal borders, wildflower and wildlife areas and a vegetable garden. Family-friendly walks in all areas including wildlife, stream, meadow. Extensive snowdrops, hellebores and bulbs in early spring. Teas available. Children and dogs welcome.

Open: 23 Feb & 2 March (10am - 4pm)

Individuals/groups welcome by appt Feb to Nov

Where: Brodham Way, Shillingstone, DT11 0TE


22 Holt Road

This ¾-acre walled garden in Branksome features diverse planting areas with Mediterranean courtyard garden, wisteria pergola, rill and bog garden, raised bed vegetable garden and rockery with waterfall cascading onto a pebble beach.

Open: 23 March (2pm – 5.30pm)

Groups of 10+ also welcome by appt Mar to Oct

Where: Branksome, Poole BH12 1JQ


Herons Mead

This ½-acre plantlover’s garden in Wool is full of interest in spring with colourful displays of bulbs, 200 hellebores, pulmonaria and fritillaries.

Open: 23 March (2pm – 5pm)

Groups of 10+ also welcome by appt Mar to Sept

Where: East Burton Road, East Burton Wool BH20 6HF


The Old Vicarage

This Shaftesbury garden featured in the Mail on Sunday after winning the best large Dorset Wildlife Friendly Garden in 2012. In spring this inspirational garden features a wonderful display of bulbs as well as unusual water features and a fantastic tree viewing platform

Open: 23 March (1pm-4.30pm),

Individuals and groups also welcome by appt

Where: East Orchard, Shaftesbury SP7 0BA



Mature all seasons garden planted round stone cottage with many interesting plants, bulbs, shrubs, herbaceous border and shrub roses. Attractive walk to woodland garden with far-reaching views across Blackmore Vale. New stream and waterfall feature

Open: 23 March (2pm – 5pm)

Where: Chaffeymoor Bourton Gillingham SP8 5BY


Snape Cottage Plantsman’s Garden

Mature country garden near Gillingham containing exceptional collection of hardy plants and bulbs, artistically arranged in informal cottage garden style, organically managed and clearly labelled. Specialities include snowdrops, hellebores, ‘old’ daffodils, pulmonarias, auriculas, herbs, irises and geraniums. Wildlife pond, beautiful views and tranquil atmosphere.

Open: 29 March (2pm – 5pm)

Where: Chaffeymoor, Bourton, nr Gillingham, Dorset, SP8 5BZ


Langebride House

This old rectory garden is a lovely place to visit by appointment, especially in early spring. Carpets of anemones spread out under the huge copper beech tree on the lawn and sheets of crocus are interspersed with snowdrops and other early spring bulbs. Large variety of daffodils, flowering shrubs, herbaceous borders and a kitchen garden.

Open: Visitors welcome by appt Feb to July (01308 482257)

Where: Long Bredy, DT2 9HU


To find more gardens open in your area visit ngs.org.uk

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