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Open gardens you can visit in Dorset this month

PUBLISHED: 15:16 01 July 2019

Cottage Row is open to groups by arrangement

Cottage Row is open to groups by arrangement


Enjoy the widest variety of flowers in bloom at these NGS venues in July, book a group garden viewing or a bee walk

25 Richmond Park Avenue

A new NGS venue, beautifully designed town garden with pergola leading to ivy canopy over raised decking. Cascading waterfall connects two wildlife ponds enhanced with domed acers. Circular lawn with colourful herbaceous border planted for bees and butterflies. South-facing courtyard garden, sparkling with colour, fragrance and full of Mediterranean planting.

Open: 7 & 21 July, 2-5pm

Where: Bournemouth, BH8 9DL


Summer at Hilltop is a gorgeous riot of colour and scent, the old thatched cottage is barely visible amongst the flowers! Unusual annuals and perennials grow alongside the traditional and familiar, which attracts an abundance of wildlife.

Open: 14, 21 & 28 July, 2-6pm

Where: Woodville, Stour Provost, Gillingham SP8 5LY

The Secret Garden & Serles House

The ingenious use of unusual plants complements the imaginative treasure trove of garden objets d'art at this venue in Wimborne. The enchanting house is also open. Step into a world of whimsical fantasy that is both theatrical and unique.

Open: 18, 21 & 28 July, 2-5pm

Where: 47 Victoria Road, Wimborne Minster BH21 1EN

Well Cottage

An acre of garden which features new areas cultivated with natural planting and an emphasis on colour. Wonderful views over the Marshwood Vale. Textile art studio in the garden also open to view.

Open: 20, 21 & 22 July, 1-6pm

Where: Ryall, Bridport DT6 6EJ

Black Shed

One of very few cut flower farms open to the public, this new NGS venue offers stunning displays with over 150 colourful, flower beds growing a sophisticated selection of cut flowers and foliage ranging from traditional through to more unusual perennials.

Open: 14 July, 1-5pm

Where: Blackmarsh Farm, Dodds Cross Sherborne, DT9 4JX


By arrangement and group visits to NGS venues

Groups can also liaise direct with some garden owners to arrange a convenient time and date for a personalised visit. Here are just a few of the Dorset NGS venues which offer this option.

Cottage Row, Tarrant Gunville

Maturing ½ acre partly-walled garden with formal and informal areas separated by yew hedges. Pergola, arbours, brick paths, tree house and kitchen garden;

bees and butterflies abound in this tranquil spot. This sophisticated cottage garden reflects the owners' love of unusual plants and structure.

Where: Tarrant Gunville

Contact: Carolyn & Michael Pawson on 01258 830212 or michaelpawson637@btinternet.com

Frith House, Stalbridge

Approached down a long drive with fine views, 4 acres of garden surround an Edwardian house and self-contained hamlet. House terrace edged by rose border and featuring Lutyensesque wall fountain; well-stocked kitchen gardens; range of mature trees, lakes and flower borders.

Contact: Mr & Mrs Patrick Sclater, 01963 250809 or rosalynsclater@btinternet.com

2 Spur Gate, Parkstone

Designed to be drought resistant, low maintenance and wildlife friendly, this challenging site of just over ½ acre has been converted into a series of banks and terraces to off-set a steep slope, progressing from formal pool terraces to a gravel garden, Japanese area and woodland. The natural backdrop of pines makes this a tranquil oasis in an urban area.

Contact: Mr & Mrs Butler, 01202 732342 or annebbutler@icloud.com

Old Smithy, Ibberton

Twisty narrow lanes take you to this 2½ acre streamside garden framing a thatched cottage. View the succession of ponds, mown paths, sit beneath rustling trees and enjoy views of Bulbarrow.

Contact: Carol & Clive Carsley, 01258 817361 or carolcarsley@btinternet.com

Find more details for these and a full list of gardens open in Dorset at ngs.org.uk.


Other garden events...

11 July: Honey Bees & Hives

Join an interactive talk (£8) with the Kingston Lacy beekeepers and discover more about the honey bees and hives they look after. Runs 2 - 3pm.

Booking essential call 0344 249 1895. nationaltrust.org.uk/kingston-lacy

12 July: Garden Bee Walk at Knoll Gardens

Join Knoll's bumblebee surveyor Rowena Jecock in this wildlife-friendly garden at Hampreston near Wimborne to discover more about the fascinating world of our bees, begin to identify some of the species you are most likely to find in your own garden and what you can do to help them thrive. Runs 11.15am - 12.15pm, cost £5.50.

Book at knollgardens.co.uk or call 01202 873931

13- 14 July: Upwey Open Gardens

Explore up to 25 gardens (2 - 6pm) great and small at this annual village event. Other attractions include craft stalls, demos by local potters, display of vintage vehicles and art exhibition in Old School Hall. Outdoor cafe in one of the gardens. All proceeds to support future village events. Cost £4.



Open your garden for diverse abilities

Big or small, cottage or courtyard, exotic or formal, Diverse Abilities is looking for local gardeners to open their gardens between June and August to raise funds for this Dorset charity through entry fees, refreshment stalls or selling plants. Already signed up to the new initiative is Parterre at Keyneston Mill in Blandford who are opening their gardens on Monday 1 July and donating a percentage of their entrance fees to Diverse Abilities as well as raising funds on the day.

Daisy Roe, corporate and community fundraiser at Diverse Abilities, said: "If you have a garden you are proud of and are happy to open it up to the public to help us raise vital funds for children and adults living with disabilities across the county, then please do get in touch."

Call Daisy on 01202 718266 or visit diverseabilities.org.uk/open-gardens.

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