8 NGS Dorset gardens to visit in September  

Home for Gardens, Wareham

Home for Gardens, Wareham - Credit: ngs.org.uk

Enjoy a relaxing walk and explore nature's bounty at these amazing gardens around the county of Dorset.

1. Pine Walk, Lyme Regis: Unconventional ½ acre, multi-level garden above Lyme Bay, adjoins National Trust’s Ware Cliffs. Abundantly planted with an exotic range of shrubs, cannas, gingers and magnificent ferns. Rose and Hydrangea collection. Planting reflects owner's love with South Africa, staggering succulents and late summer colour explosion, drifts of salvias, dahlias, asters, grasses and rudbeckia. Won Melplash Show – Best Garden 2019. 

Open: September 3, 4 & 5 (11am until 4pm) 

Where: Lyme Regis DT7 3LA 

Exotics at Pine Walk, Lyme Regis

Exotics at Pine Walk, Lyme Regis - Credit: ngs.org.uk

2. Holme for Gardens, Wareham: Extensive formal and informal gardens influenced by Hidcote Manor and The Laskett. The garden is made up of distinct rooms, separated by hedges and taller planting. Extensive collection of trees, shrubs and perennials. Annuals sourced from across the UK. Spectacular wildflower meadows, grass amphitheatre and Holme henge garden. Lavender avenue and cutting garden. Pear tunnel, hot borders, white borders and ornamental grasses. Many unusual trees and shrubs. Grass paths are in good order, well drained allowing reasonable wheelchair access, except after heavy rain. 

Open: September 7 (10am until 4.30pm) 

Where: West Holme Farm, Wareham, BH20 6AQ 

Higher Brimley Coombe Farm

Higher Brimley Coombe Farm - Credit: ngs.org.uk

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3. Higher Brimley Coombe Farm, Beaminster: A new garden of just over an acre, planted in the last five years. Rose and herbaceous borders surround the house. New prairie style planting blends into the orchard, mown paths to follow through the longer grass. An open site on Lewesdon Hill, enjoying stunning views across the Marshwood Vale to the sea. Garden to the front is grass and flat, other areas are sloped so help with wheelchairs may be required. 

Open: September 9 & 12 (2pm until 5pm) 

Where: Stoke Abbott, Beaminster DT8 3JZ 

Japanese garden at Avon Avenue, Ringwood

Japanese style at Avon Avenue, Ringwood - Credit: ngs.org.uk

4. 22 Avon Avenue, Ringwood: Japanese-themed water garden, featuring granite sculptures, pond, waterfalls, many azaleas, rhododendrons, cloud topiary. Collection of goldfish and water lilies. Children only under parental supervision, there is a large deep water pond. Featured in Amateur Gardening, 2020. 

Open: September 12 (12 noon until 5pm) 

Where: Ringwood BH24 2BH 

Fragrant botanicals at Parterre's garden at Keyneston Mill near Blandford 

Fragrant botanicals at Parterre's garden at Keyneston Mill near Blandford - Credit: ngs.org.uk

5. Keyneston Mill, Tarrant Keyneston: The creative home of Parterre Fragrances. A working 50-acre estate dedicated to fragrant and aromatic flowers and plants. Designed in compartments, each featuring a different perfume family, including floral, fern and citrus.  Enjoy walking around the river meadow and the cropping fields where all the ingredients for Parterre’s perfumes grow, visit the exhibition and distillery. Featured on TV series Gardeners World 2020.  Compacted gravel paths in the floral garden, lawns elsewhere. Wheelchair access to Bistro-Café and WC’S.  Dogs on a lead are welcome in the garden.  

Open: September 14 (2pm until 5.30pm) 

Where: Tarrant Keyneston, Blandford Forum, DT11 9HZ 

Herons Mead, East Burton

Herons Mead, East Burton - Credit: ngs.org.uk

6. Herons Mead, East Burton: ½ acre plant lovers garden, with abundant summer perennials, old roses scrambling through the trees and late seasonal exuberant planting amongst the tall grasses. Wildlife pond and plants to attract bees and butterflies. Tiny woodland. Cacti. Small wheelchairs can gain partial access – as far as the tea house. 

Open:  September 19 (2pm until 5pm) 

Where: East Burton Road, Wool BH20 6HF 

The Decennium Border at Knoll Gardens, Hampreston

The Decennium Border at Knoll Gardens, Hampreston - Credit: ©Helen Harrison

7. Knoll Gardens, Wimborne: A naturalistic and very calming garden, renowned for its whispering grasses. It delights with its abundant showstopping flowering perennials. A backdrop of stunning trees and shrubs adds theatre to this wildlife and environmentally friendly garden. On site nursery with expert advice on hand to help you replicate a little bit of Knoll at home. Year-round event programme includes grass masterclasses, naturalistic design workshops.  Bookable at knollgardens.co.uk. The gardens charity – Knoll Gardens Foundation researches and promotes sustainable, wildlife friendly gardening. knollgardensfoundation.org. There are some slopes and various surfaces, gravel, paving, grass and bark. 

Open: September 24 (10am until 5pm) 

Where: Hampreston, Wimborne, BH21 7ND 

Contemporary grass garden designed by John Makepeace  at Farrs, Beaminster

Contemporary grass garden designed by John Makepeace at Farrs, Beaminster - Credit: © Carole Drake


John Makepeace Furniture & Open Garden 

One of Beaminster’s historic town houses, Farrs is the home of legendary furniture maker John Makepeace. Stroll around his inspirational grasses garden and his wife Jennie’s riotous potager (complete with cleft oak fruit cage), take in the straw bale studio, and geese in the orchard - these are just some of the magical elements of this distinctive walled garden with its rolling lawns, sculpture and giant topiary. House open on NGS days, showing furniture by John Makepeace, painting, sculpture and applied arts by living artists. Talk on design at 2.30pm, plant talks with Jennie Makepeace at 3.30pm. This fabulous Dorset garden has featured in Hortus, Country Life, Gardens Illustrated, Daily Telegraph, Crafts Magazine and on Gardeners World. Some gravel paths, alternative wheelchair route through the Orchard. 

Open: September 15 (2.30pm until 4.30pm) 

Where: Whitcombe Road, Beaminster DT8 3NB 

Find details for all these National Garden Scheme venues at ngs.org.uk

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