Some of the best Dorset gardens that are open to the public as part of the National Garden Scheme in May

Built around a modern terrace in Kinson, this small suburban garden uses every trick in the garden design handbook to create a truly memorable space featuring some unusual plants.
Open: May 17, 18 & 19 (2-5pm)
Where: Bournemouth BH10 5LT

Created from scratch to enhance relaxation and tranquillity, this community garden is planted organically to encourage wildlife great and small. Wildflower meadow, plant nursery and tea garden. Cafe offers freshly picked herbal teas.
Open: May 18 (10am-4pm)
Where: Middlemarsh, Sherborne DT9 5QN

Lovely cottage garden which includes a small wildflower meadow, pond, flower borders and a very large collection of chilli plants, over 50 varieties, in the greenhouse. Owner is a chilli plant expert!
Open: May 18 - 19 (10am-5pm)
Where: Woolland DT11 0ES

360ft natural woodland garden hidden in the heart of Broadstone. Mature oaks and a natural spring create a magical woodland setting for wildlife, acers add seasonal colour.
Open: May 18 - 19 (12-5pm)
Where: Broadstone BH18 9EL

Great British Life: Folly Farm Cottage near Bridport, a new NGS venue. Folly Farm Cottage near Bridport, a new NGS venue. (Image:

Just down from the Spyway Inn, this garden has four connecting ‘rooms’, flower borders, ornamental trees, rose bed, large pond, grasses, golden willow and silver pear, a natural fruit orchard, greenhouse and raised beds.
Open: May 18 - 19 (1-5pm)
Where: Spyway Road, Uploders DT6 4PH

Smaller front garden and 60ft back garden whose upper-level features raised beds of perennial planting, fruit and vegetables and grapevines. Partially decked lower level is surrounded by potted salvias and other choice plants.
Open: May 18, 19, 25 & 26 (12-4.30pm)
Where: Ferndown BH22 8AA

Ingenious use of unusual plants complements the imaginative treasure trove of garden objets d’art in this town plot which Alan Titchmarsh declared as ‘one of the best 10 private gardens in Britain’.
Open: May 19 (1-4.30pm)
Where: 47 Victoria Road, Wimborne BH21 1EN

Artistic flair abounds in this cottage garden thanks to its owners who are Royal Academy artists. Pencil gate leads to colourful scented Victorian walled garden. Sculptures and paintings hide among the flowers and shrubs. Unusual studio and garden room. Mural of a life-size greyhound makes the cottage easy to find!
Open: May 26 (2-4pm)
Where: 25 Millhams Street, Christchurch BH23 1DN

3 fabulous acres of formal and informal gardens featuring large ponds surrounded by mature specimen trees, bog garden with raised walkway, walled garden with herbaceous beds, pergola covered in apples and productive veg beds surrounded by Ilex crenata. Cut flower garden, greenhouses and fruit cage. Prebooking essential for this ticketed event at
Open: May 24 (2-5pm)
Where: Beaminster DT8 3NT

Great British Life: Little Benville House. Little Benville House. (Image:

Immaculate contemporary garden, partially designed by Harris Bugg Studio (RHS Chelsea Show winners) with structure and good planting. Interesting mix of blues, oranges and lime green with Iris Siberica, Geums, lady’s mantel and euphorbia interspersed with lollipop-coloured tulips in orange, dark purple and pink. New herbaceous border, woodland planting, walled vegetable and cutting garden, cloud pruned topiary, ha-ha, ornamental trees and moat.

Open: May 25 - 26 (11am-5pm)
Where: Benville Lane, Corscombe DT2 0NN

Set in heart of Beaminster, explore 16 acres of stunning parkland with mature specimen trees, lake and waterfall. Woodland garden and walled garden with different rooms and themed colour planted borders. Home to ornamental ducks, black swans, pigmy goats, alpaca, chickens and guinea pigs.
Open: May 26 - 27 (11am-5pm)
Where: North Street, Beaminster DT8 3DZ

Stunning historical garden in the centre of Wimborne. Produce from the first Soil Association accredited veg garden in Britain, set within 18th century serpentine walls, used in onsite cafe. 13 acres of partly wild gardens in ancient monastic setting with Saxon fishpond, herb garden, orchard and apiary beside River Allen.
Open: May 29 (11am-4pm)
Where: Deans Court Lane, Wimborne Minster BH21 1EE

Other gardens opening this month include:  Hampreston (May 19); Knitson Old Farmhouse, Corfe Castle (May 25-27); The Old Vicarage, Shaftesbury (May 26); Mappercombe Manor, Bridport (May 31). Details on all these gardens at

Great British Life: Careys Secret Garden, a hidden walled garden in a wood. Careys Secret Garden, a hidden walled garden in a wood. (Image:


Rewilding Tour at Mapperton

Home to Mapperton Wildlands, a limited number of tickets are available for this 2-mile rewilding tour led by ranger Ben Padwick who will tell you about the long horn cattle, beavers and Exmoor ponies that are involved in the biggest rewilding project in Dorset on the Mapperton Estate near Beaminster. Pre-booking essential at

Open: May 23 (10am-4pm)

Where: Mapperton DT8 3NR

Careys Secret Garden 

This 3 ½ acre walled garden, hidden in woodland just outside Wareham, was left untouched for more than four decades until it was rediscovered by its new owner Simon Constantine during lockdown. Now flourishing once more, the focus at this award-winning garden is on permaculture and rewilding. Pre-booking essential call 07927 132148 or email

Open: May 26 (11am-3pm)

Where: Wareham BH20 7PG