Open gardens in Dorset - June 2016

PUBLISHED: 15:17 06 June 2016 | UPDATED: 15:17 06 June 2016

Cranborne Manor was originally laid out in John Tracadent

Cranborne Manor was originally laid out in John Tracadent


Throughout June there are plenty of Open Gardens Weekends to inspire and explore. Here are just some of the gorgeous Dorset gardens you should take time to visit this month

4-5 June

• Netherbury - Tucked away in the Brit Valley, just south of Beaminster, this village will have 12 glorious open gardens to admire, including some wonderful NGS gardens - the Mill House, Hatchlands and Slape Manor. Besides these stars, there are many other fascinating gardens to explore, whether you like riverside walks, stunning views, rambling roses or Victorian railway carriages. Homemade lunches in the Village Hall and teas served in various gardens. Local wine and ciders available, plant stalls and activities for children.

Runs 1 – 5pm. Tickets £7 (valid for both days).

• Sherbore Hidden Gardens - Many of Sherborne’s walled gardens are open for charity over this special ‘hidden gardens’ weekend. Amongst the 19 gardens is the winner of ‘Best of the Best’ in last year’s Sherborne in Bloom Competition; the front garden is full of topiary and classic box hedging contrasting with a back garden which has a distinctly Mediterranean vibe. Also opening again this year is one of the town’s oldest gardens: Old Hall, Newlands is described as a “burgage” garden which has a wall dating from the 1300’s and an outlook over Sherborne Castles. Within the lovely cottage garden is an art gallery which displays the work of its two owners.

Tickets £8 (available from Sherborne Tourist Office or Castle Gardens) covers the whole weekend, or individual gardens can be visited for a minimum donation £1.

12 June - Abbotsbury Open Gardens

A rare opportunity to visit two private gardens in Church Street (by kind permission of Lord and Lady Neuberger and Simon Morrison) open in aid of The Friends of St Nicholas Church.

The Old Gate House Garden offers magnificent views of St Catherine’s Chapel and down the valley to the Swannery and Chesil. The mature garden, on varying levels, will also host the Durnovaria Silver Band and a large Craft Fayre with plants donated by the nearby sub-tropical gardens. Next door the Manor Garden, in the second year of a major restoration project, is also on several levels, with paths winding through. Set into the garden walls are relics from the Abbey.

Runs 2-4.30pm. Tickets £3. Free parking in village car park from 1pm.

18-19 June - The Gardens of Cranborne Open Weekend

From the famous Cranborne Manor gardens, originally designed by John Tradescant in the 17th century, through elegant period and modern homes to much-loved cottage gardens there’s plenty to explore from 11am to 5pm. Wide range of stalls and activities in the village, including maypole dancing, refreshments in the Village Hall. Highlights of the many gardens opening include:

• Cranborne Manor Gardens - Designed by John Tradescant, the structure follows a pattern of ‘rooms’, delineated by hedges or walls and softened by billowing herbaceous borders.

• Number 10 Castle Street - Magnificent 18th-century house with formal garden featuring a series of grass terraces. Borders planted with shrubs, old roses and herbaceous plants. (Only open Sunday).

• Red Lion House - This garden uses the principles of bio-dynamic horticulture. The herbaceous borders, rose, herb and vegetable gardens are designed to reflect the local environment.

• Manor View House - Late-Georgian house with beautiful walled garden and a mass of repeat planting surrounding variegated standard hollies; borders with shrubs, perennials and roses.

• Chase Cottage - A huge mulberry tree takes centre stage alongside colourful mixed borders and a delightful garden studio displaying the owner’s textile works.

• Cranborne Allotments - Tilled since the early part of the 19th century, these 24 prolific plots boast views over the rooftops, church spire and rolling fields.

19 June - Wimborne Minster Open Gardens Day

Some 18 fabulous Wimborne Minster gardens of all shapes, sizes and designs open their gates (11am-5pm) in aid of Wimborne in Bloom. Tickets £6.

25-26 June - Farnham Open Gardens

Around five gardens in this pretty village on Cranborne Chase open their gates from 11am – 5pm and you will also be very welcome at the local allotments. Tickets £5. Refreshments and plant stalls.

26 June - Blandford’s Hidden Gardens

Around 20 gardens ranging from Georgian to modern, formal to wild, open from 11am -5pm. Tickets £5. Plants on sale. Blandford Information Centre 01258 454 770.

26 June - Colehill Gardens Gadabout

The Hardy Plant Society (HPS) Dorset Group and Colehill Library volunteers host this open gardens day featuring 15 varied gardens including one with a tree house and aerial walk. HPS plant stall. Runs 11am – 5pm. Tickets £5 from Memorial Hall (BH21 2LR).

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