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A selection of spring gardens to visit in Dorset

PUBLISHED: 11:04 22 April 2014 | UPDATED: 11:04 22 April 2014

Hellebores at the Old Smithy

Hellebores at the Old Smithy


After a long, wet winter there is plenty of colour and new growth to revive the senses at a variety of beautiful locations within Dorset’s National Gardens Scheme

The GladeThe Glade

The Glade

Award-winning 1¾-acre spring garden. Woodland walks through blossom trees, wild anemones, primroses and bluebells. Extensive shrubbery with camellias, azaleas and rhododendrons. Stream and large wildlife pond with primulas, marginals and waterlilies. Bog garden, wet meadow, spring bulbs and herbaceous and mixed borders. And finally terraced lawns for lingering over tea.

Open: 20 April (1-5pm)

Where: Woodland Walk, Ferndown BH22 9LP


Emondsham House

6 acres of mature gardens, grounds, views, trees and shaped hedges surrounding 16th-18th century house. Large Victorian walled garden using ‘No Dig’ vegetable beds. Wide herbaceous borders planted for seasonal colour. Traditional potting shed and working areas. Teas.

Open: 2, 9, 16, 21 & 23 April (2-5pm)

Where: Edmondsham, nr Cranborne BH21 5RE


Cranborne Manor Garden

Beautiful and historic garden laid out in 17th century by John Tradescant, featuring several gardens surrounded by walls and yew hedges: blue and white garden, cottage-style and mount gardens, water and wild garden. (

Open: 9 April (9am-4pm)

Where: Cranborne, BH21 5PP


Ivy House Garden

Unusual and challenging ½-acre garden set on a steep hillside with fine views. Wildlife-friendly garden with mixed borders, ponds, vegetable garden, fruit cage, greenhouses and polytunnel. Daffodils, tulips and hellebores in quantity for spring openings. Teas.

Open: 9 & 21 April (2-5pm)

Where: Piddletrenthide, DT2 7QF


Old Smithy

Narrow lanes lead to this rural 2½-acre streamside garden framing a thatched cottage. This back of beyond setting inspired the best-selling novel Mr Rosenblum’s List. Succession of ponds. Mown paths. Spring bulbs, aquilegia and hellebores. Views of Bulbarrow and church. Dogs allowed. Teas.

Open: 19 April (2-5pm)

Where: Ibberton DT11 0EN



4 acres garden on slopes with terraces with glimpses over to Portland and Weymouth. Italianate courtyard and hornbeam arbour gives Mediterranean feel. Strong structure and effective planting creates lovely spaces where bees and butterflies feed and dance. Teas.

Open: 12-13 April (2-5pm)

Where: Holworth, Dorchester, DT2 8NJ


Chideock Manor

6/7 acres of formal and informal gardens with fine views. Bog garden beside stream and series of ponds. Lime and crab apple walks, herbaceous borders, clematis arches, fernery and nuttery. Walled vegetable garden and orchard. Woodland and lakeside walks.

Open: 20 - 21 April (2-5pm)

Where: Chideock, nr Bridport, DT6 6LF


17 Lower Golf Links Road

Town garden of 2/3 acre, created in a heathland suburb. Prominent vegetable garden with raised beds, fruit trees and a pond, as well as borders. Particularly impressive garden to visit in spring and early summer.

Open: 27 April (2-5pm)

Where: Broadstone Poole BH18 8BQ


Horn Park

Large, plantsman’s garden with magnificent view to sea. Many rare and mature plants and shrubs in terraced, herbaceous, rock and water gardens. Woodland garden and walks in bluebell woods. Wild flower meadow.

Open: 30 April (2.30pm-4.30pm)

Where: Tunnel Rd, Beaminster DT8 3HB


For a complete list of National Gardens Scheme venues open this month visit


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