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A Dorset delight.


We recently spent a week near Wareham in Dorset, staying in a self-catering lovely Pine Lodge set in woodland, birdsong the only sound, just awesome!

On Tuesday 25th we headed off to Knoll Gardens, a thirteen mile drive away. Ha, there were roadworks and diversions, awkward when you’re not familiar with the area, then when we finally found the gardens there was a sign ‘Closed Today’!

Let’s just say the air was blue in the car for a while, the RHS Handbook clearly gave the opening days, Tuesday being one of them.

Bear with me, we had a leaflet for ‘Holme for Gardens’, which we thought was a garden centre and restaurant, so drove back to Wareham to discover an absolute delight of a garden, behind the garden centre, soon to be an RHS Partner Garden.

It is a 15-acre garden that has undergone rapid development in the last few years. The design is based around four strong, formal, interlocking vistas with beds, borders and paths filling in between, from natural at the edges to ornate at the core.

Let’s begin our walk …

So many Tulips, hot and fiery ones, pastel ones too.

The latter two photos are within a design based on the teaching of Sir Roy Strong and his garden The Laskett.

The Pear Tunnel was beautiful with the blossom of 30 varieties of edible Pear trained onto wrought iron framework.

My photo of the Grass Amphitheatre doesn’t show it off so well as seeing it in real life. The depth of it is stunning and is used on Summer evenings for outdoor theatre productions.

Whilst walking over to Holme Henge I saw these little beauties.

then some naturalised planting in the grass.

Holme Henge is a stone circle formed from 2-tonne Purbeck stone monoliths. Planting inspired by the local heaths and by Adrian Bloom’s Norfolk Garden, Foggy Bottom.

A Pyrus salicifolia pendula (thank goodness for plant labels!) couldn’t quite disguise my OH!

This Canal garden is scheduled to be complete by the
end of this year, planted with topiary and flowers.

A Camellia ‘Black Lace’ was looking so healthy … rather like the rest of this lovely garden.

Blossom on the Japanese cherries was beautiful …

A large wooded area, Jim’s Wood, was cleared of 15ft. Rhododendrons so the wood could recover with Bluebells, Stitchwort, Woodbine and other native woodland flora. Rare Camellia, Japanese Maples and ferns will gradually replace the thick carpet of Holly seedlings.

Other areas included The Wedding Borders, The Events Pavilion which is licensed for wedding ceremonies, Lavender Avenue, an orchard with 150 varieties of apple trees and a grass meadow teeming with wildlife.

By the way, I’m not on commission for recommending this garden, but simply thought it would be of interest to GoY folk, especially those who may be visiting Dorset one day!

Edited this as I forgot to put the photos of the outdoor eating area, perfect on a sunny afternoon to eat, drink and admire the view of the pond with the lovely planting and fish.

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what a happy find. Just think if the other garden had been open you would never have found this jewel. I have added it to my list of gardens I want to visit.

thank you for sharing your lovely day with us Shirley.

1 May, 2023


One to remember if we are ever in that corner of the did well there Shirley...very interesting GC not the run of the mill.I wondered if the standing stones were in a bed of heathers? I remember Roy Strong on one of the regular Gardening programmes. Sounds like a good week all round.

1 May, 2023


What a lovely discovery Shirley … much better than the garden at Knoll! Maddening for you though not to see their wonderful selection of grasses.

We loved Wareham when we stayed there last year, and also had peaceful accommodation - a cottage with a garden by a mill stream. Glad you had such glorious weather for your interesting blog 🙂.

1 May, 2023


I really enjoyed this Shirley and how exciting to see new gardens in the making. I especially like the Holme Henge garden standing on it's bed of heathers.
You must have been so pleased you decided to retrace your route and find such a gem. It was fate, Knolle gardens weren't for you that day!

1 May, 2023


Eileen, I'm another with a list of gardens to visit!

Julia, the stones were in heathers and many conifers.

Sheila, even though we were looking forward to visiting Knoll Gardens, this more than made up for the loss!

Janey, I agree, fate definitely had a hand in it ... :o)

1 May, 2023


So pleased to hear you've had a lovely holiday. Shirley! Looks like you found a gem of a place. The weather was perfect too, fortunately it's been such a mild and sunny week.
The pear tunnel is so pretty, amazing to hear you mentioned 30 types of pear! Delicious.
The grass amphitheatre looks very architectural. I love the idea of sitting there on a warm summer evening...
Thanks for sharing with us 😊

1 May, 2023


So glad the day turned out well for you in the end. It looks to be a beautiful garden and it was such a lovely day too. I love the pond, the pear tunnel and that gorgeous camellia.Pleased you enjoyed your holiday.

1 May, 2023


I particularly like the pear tunnel, what a length and the pond. A great find, thank you for sharing.

1 May, 2023


That looks like a real find, Shirley, so I shall make a note. Thanks for sharing and giving a heads-up.

2 May, 2023


Glad you posted this blog on your visit to these lovely gardens, Shirley!

That Pear tree tunnel is absolutely stunning when in flower! So many flowering trees as well! What a fantastic find! 😃

3 May, 2023


Thanks to Kate, Chris, Siris, Ange and David ... it was a lovely place to visit and I hope some of you may find yourselves there one day!

5 May, 2023


This looks lovely Shirley! Thanks for the recommendation. I love the amphitheatre. It’s annoying how photos always appear so flattened.

5 May, 2023


Karen, I hope you visit there soon!

6 May, 2023


All’s well that ends well. I’m glad you found this gem of a place. I’m sure it more than made up for the journey to Knoll gardens & finding them closed. I liked all of it, thanks for sharing it with us.

8 May, 2023


Thanks for kind words, Josie, just a shame I have been really rotten for about a week! Sore throat etc.

10 May, 2023


Snap Shirley - so sorry you've been feeling rotten. I've also had a sore throat and felt unwell. What we need is sunshine!

11 May, 2023


Sheila, I felt so bad that I had a GP appointment this morning. Diagnosed with Sinusitis, high temperature and sky high blood sugar level! Here's hoping some anti-biotics, along with a nasal spray (yuk!) will get rid of the symptoms.

I do hope you feel better soon ... take it easy!

11 May, 2023


Shirley, so glad you managed to see a GP. I persuaded someone to give me a phone consultation, and began to feel better just from talking to someone who understood! Sorry you’re not going to have much fun for a few days …

11 May, 2023


Best wishes for a speedy recovery Shirley.

11 May, 2023


Sheila, well done on having a triage call! Hopefully you will be feeling better soon.

11 May, 2023


Thanks Josie ... :o)

11 May, 2023


Looked at your blog again, putting into favs for one to visit when circumstances permit. Thank you.

20 May, 2023


Siris, you won't be disappointed if you visit!

21 May, 2023

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