6 Spring gardens to visit in Dorset in March

Hamamelis or witch hazel flower in full bloom

Look out for hamamelis or witch hazel with its scented winter flowers - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Manor Farm: One of NGS Dorset’s most popular gardens, this traditional farmhouse garden has been designed and cared for by three generations of the Trehane family for over a century. Noted for its herbaceous borders, rose beds within box and yew hedges, water and bog garden it is open for hellebores in March. Dorset Hardy Plant Society sales at openings. Hellebores for sale in March.  Open: March 12, 10am to 1pm & March 13, 1-4pm Where: Hampreston, Wimborne, BH21 7LX 

Group of beautiful double pink flowers taken close-up in a garden in winter.

Hellebores on show at several NGS venues this month - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Old Vicarage: In early spring this large wildlife garden dazzles with displays of hundreds of different snowdrops, crocus, hellebores and other winter flowering shrubs. Followed by other bulbs including large swathes of narcissi and hundreds of tulips, camassias and alliums. A wonderful stream meanders down to a pond and there are lovely reflections from the swimming pond, the first to be built in Dorset. Tree viewing platform allows you to look over garden and to the wider area. Pond dipping, swing and other children’s attractions. Cakes including gluten free, diabetic and vegans are also catered for. Not suitable for wheelchairs if wet. Open: March 20, 2-5pm Where: East Orchard, Shaftesbury, SP7 0BA 

Frankham Farm: Created since 1960 by the late Jo Earle for year-round interest this 3½ acre garden is filled with spring bulbs at this time of year. Well planted borders, clematis and other climbers and some very interesting specimen trees in the woodland area. Ramp available for the two steps to the garden. Open: March 20, 12-5pm Where: Ryme Intrinseca, Sherborne, DT9 6JT 

Herons Mead: ½ acre plantlover’s garden full of interest at this time of year with spring bulbs, hellebores, pulmonaria and fritillaries. Wildlife pond and plants to attract bees, butterflies, etc. Tiny woodland. Cacti. Small wheelchairs can gain partial access - as far as the tea house. Open: March 20, 2-5pm Where: East Burton Road, East Burton, Wool, BH20 6HF 

22, Holt Road: ¾ acre walled garden for all seasons. Garden seating throughout the diverse planting areas, including Mediterranean courtyard garden and wisteria pergola. Walk up slope beside rill and bog garden to raised bed vegetable garden. Return through shrubbery and rockery back to waterfall cascading into a pebble beach. Partial wheelchair access. Open: March 20, 2-5pm Where: Branksome, Poole, BH12 1JQ 

Find more details for all five of these venues at ngs.org.uk

Bench in a lovely garden with trees and lawns in summer

The Walled Garden at Moreton in summer - Credit: walledgardenmoreton.co.uk

Garden of the Month: The Walled Garden at Moreton 

Explore five acres of beautiful landscaped gardens at The Walled Garden at Moreton. Around the winter borders the air is filled with scent from flowering mahonia, sarcococca, and osmanthus burkwoodii. While the woodland walk, one of the informal parts of the garden, is bursting with colour throughout Spring including the delicate fragrant flowers of hamamelis (witch hazel). The on-site Dovecote Café offers homemade main meals, brunch, sandwiches, cakes and pastries. While the Plant Centre and Garden Shop sells nursery grown seasonal plants, gardening essentials, and gifts. They also host family and seasonal events throughout the year (check website) and for younger visitors there are some animals to see and a children’s play park. Well behaved dogs are welcome. Entry and parking are free. Open daily 9am – 4.30pm walledgardenmoreton.co.uk