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Open gardens in Dorset - May 2017

PUBLISHED: 11:47 26 April 2017 | UPDATED: 14:28 10 May 2017

1692 Wimborne Road

1692 Wimborne Road


There are some glorious spring gardens throwing open their gates for the NGS this month, and a spectacular sea of colour to admire at the Tulip Festival at Forde Abbey

Domineys Yard

This will be the 31st year this Buckland Newton garden has opened for the NGS. The owners have been creating this enchanting garden over the last 56 years, with its diverse planting giving it year-round interest. Plants on sale from Picket Lane Nursery. Children very welcome. Homemade teas.

Open: 7 May, 2-5.30pm

Where: Buckland Newton, DT2 7BS


Old Smithy

It is well worth driving down twisty lanes to reach this rural 2 1/2 acre streamside garden framing a thatched cottage. Admire a succession of ponds with mown paths, candelabra primulas, aquilegia and hellebores. Homemade teas in village hall.

Open: 14 May, 2-5pm

Where: Ibberton, DT11, 0EN


1692 Wimborne Road

A suburban garden with rhododendrons, acers and azaleas, under planted with woodland plants, and colourful tulips. A manmade stream, pond, waterfall and fountain attract wildlife. Homemade teas served in the summerhouse.

Open: 14 & 28 May, 2-5pm

Where: Bear Cross, BH11 9AL


Wincombe Park

This extensive garden, with sweeping views over parkland towards a lake and bluebell wood, is a riot of colour in spring with azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias. Beautiful walled kitchen garden. Cream teas, homemade cakes and biscuits.

Open: 14 & 17 May, 2-5pm

Where: Shaftesbury, SP7 9AB


The Secret Garden

With its mature trees, bamboo, rhododendrons, magnolias and camellias, this is an on-going reclamation of neglected woodland, enhanced by planting from modern day plant hunters, with new plantings from Crug Farm Plants. Streams on all sides crossed by bridges, so stout shoes are recommended. The Friary grounds will also be open where meadows, woods and livestock can be viewed. Homemade teas.

Open: 20 & 21 May, 2-5pm

Where: The Friary, Hilfield, DT2 7BE


Hanford School

This independent girls’ boarding preparatory school near Shillingstone is home to a wonderful kitchen garden which grows seasonal vegetables, fruit and flowers for the table. Also enjoy rolling lawns and ancient cedars. Homemade teas in the Great Hall.

Open: 21 May, 2-5pm

Where: Child Okeford, DT11 8HN


Old Rectory

A 5 acre garden with formal topiary as well as areas of naturalistic planting. Admire fritillaries, erythroniums, tulips and wood anemones. Extensive bog garden planted with candelabra primulas and other moisture lovers, flowering magnolias and cornus. Homemade teas.

Open: 21 & 23 May, 11am - 5pm

Where: Netherbury, Beaminster, DT6 5NB


Knitson Old Farmhouse

Mature cottage garden with exceptional views nestling at the bottom of chalk downland in dry coastal conditions, with herbaceous borders, rockeries, climbers and shrubs. Evolved over 50 years, the garden is designed to give year-round interest. It also has a large wildlife friendly kitchen garden. Cream teas until 5pm, bring your own bottle of wine/drinks and stay on for a picnic until 8pm. Picnic snacks on sale.

Open: 26 - 29 May, 2-8pm

Where: Corfe Castle, BH20 5JB


Slape Manor

River valley garden with a primula-fringed stream running down to a lake with magnificent hostas and gunneras. Mature trees, ancient wisterias, rhododendrons and planting around the house. Homemade teas.

Open: 28 May, 2-5pm

Where: Netherbury, DT6 5LH


Some other NGS venues

• 1 & 21 May: Holworth Farmhouse, Near Dorchester, DT2 8NH

• 6-7 May: 2 Spur Gate, Spur Hill Avenue, Parkstone, BH14 9PH

• 7 & 21 May: Mayfield, 4 Walford Close, Wimborne, BH21 1PH

• 7 & 10 May: The Old Rectory, Litton Cheney, DT2 9AH

• 11 & 29 May: Staddlestones, 14 Witchampton Mill, BH21 5DE

• 13, 14 & 16 May: Harcombe House, Pitmans Lane, Morcombelake, DT56 6EB

• 14-15 May: Wolverhollow, Elsdon Ln, Monkton Wyld

• 20, 21 & 23 May: Well Cottage, Ryall, Bridport, DT6 6EJ

• 21 May: 22 Holt Road, Branksome, BH121JQ

• 25 May: Anderson Manor, Blandford Forum, DT11 9HD

• 27-29 May: 24 Carlton Road North, Weymouth, DT4 7PY


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