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Open Gardens

Snowdrops at Minterne Gardens

“The snowdrop and primrose our woodlands adorn, and violets bathe in the wet o' the morn.” Robert Burns This quote by Robert Burns aptly sums up the arrival of spring with the appearance of snowdrops (and possibly some rain too!). With more Snowdrops planted under the Chusan Palms near Eleanor’s Bridge we expect to see carpets of these dainty white flowers adorning the banks in Minterne’s wild woodland garden. Visit Minterne Garden and enjoy their appearance from 11th February onwards. Gardens open daily 10am to 6pm.

Sticky Wicket

Sticky Wicket Wildlife Garden will be closed until further notice Sticky Wicket Garden Sabbatical. Pam Lewis writes: "Sticky Wicket Wildlife Garden will be closed during 2008 and thereafter until further notice. Over the twenty years we have been open to the public, regular visitors will have seen Sticky Wicket gradually mature and change. My increasing use of native wildflowers and grasses has allowed the garden less formality albeit one that is deceptively heavy on maintenance. My land will remain a haven for wildlife long after the glory of 20 years of precise garden-making is masked by changes in flora. I shall continue to focus on meadow-making projects, encourage natural woodland re-generation and concentrate on the production of organic food from my small-holding.  Most gardens are carved out of wilderness or, as with Sticky Wicket, created from a 'blank canvas'. It is rarely the intention of a gardener not only to allow - and actively encourage - a natural wilderness to evolve. Since the sad death of my husband Peter, I have completed my book, 'Sticky Wicket: Gardening in Tune with Nature', which chronicles the creation and management of the garden and was a tribute to Peter's amazing skill in making my vision a reality (published by Frances Lincoln 2005). Prior to Peter's death in 2004, Frances Lincoln published 'Making Wildflower Meadows' which was an account of our grassland projects up to 2003.  I now plan to complete the trilogy to record how nature reclaims the land with just the minimum intervention from its custodian. My challenge is to help this to happen gracefully whilst lightly steering the process, allowing for the effect of changes in weather patterns and monitoring the fluctuations of wildlife and wildflower populations in this exciting 'Wilder Wicket'".

Domineys, Buckland Newton

Garden openings just wouldn't happen if it wasn't for the unstinting help of friends and family. Over the past 30 years we have had wonderful help from Doug and Sylvia Morse, Sarah Hawkins, Sue and Richard Bonnie, Betty Harden, Bryan Pace, Wendy and Alan Emberley. And some dear friends who sadly are no longer with us.....Dora Peters, Peter Graham, Jean Steer, and many other kind friends and family......so a huge thank you to everyone who helped us and to the thousands of visitors who helped to raise over £52,000 during our years of opening for the NGS and all their charities. On 7th May the sun shone and the visitors just kept coming! It was wonderful to see such happy and appreciative visitors enjoying the various features of the garden and the plants, which have put on a really good show, or sitting in the sun, enjoying our home made teas, or just finding a quiet place to sit and chat to friends. But all this would not have been possible without such dedicated and hard work by Peter and aided by Sandra in the garden. Jan Burnett, Beverley Rose and Nicki came to the rescue with extra yummy cakes. On the day Nicki and Peter worked all morning setting up tables, chairs etc., then later Peter parking cars, helped by his sons Craig and Aaron, and our son Richard. Our good friend, Sally Gent manned the gate, welcoming the visitors, Jill Southam came specially from Dorchester to help Nicki with the teas...... the kitchen was a hive of activity, they worked non stop until the last slice of cake disappeared!! Not forgetting Jan, who did a brisk trade on the plant stall. So a HUGE thank you to everyone from William and me. Thanks to all our wonderful helpers and all the generous visitors we have sent a cheque for £1,174 to the NGS for their charities. Macmillan, Marie Curie, and help the Hospices each receive £500,000 annually and other deserving causes share the two million pounds raised each year. Although this was our last Sunday opening.....yes really! We will be opening for groups or private visits this year and next all in aid of the NGS To book the telephone number is 01300 345 295, or email cottages@domineys.com William and Jeanette Gueterbock

Buckland Newton Open Gardens 2012

Centred around Locketts Lane, Hylands, Providence Row and the church, we enjoyed good weather in June 2012 and had a good range of gardens open to the public as well as two wild flower meadows and our outstanding allotments.  Photos of the day can be viewed here.

Duntish Court

The gardens at Duntish Court were open in May 2011 for one of the rare occasions that these gardens are accessible to the public.  This was a chance to visit Sue and Mark Douglass's fascinating and extensive gardens at Duntish Court.  Originally designed in Georgian times, the garden has a wonderful variety of plants and trees (including a handkerchief tree and a ginkgo tree), a most unusual Georgian Summer House, underground grotto and lake with Monet-style bridge.  Cream Teas with splendid Vistas across beautiful countryside on the lawn, and a plant stall made for a wonderful afternoon.  Proceeds were in aid of Holy Rood Church Buckland Newton and Pulham Church.
Buckland Newton Community Website
in the heart of rural Dorset
For other gardens, including National Trust properties, see Places to go