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Here’s another helping of garden visits which are out of the area but well worth the extra effort. Our special selection of gardens remains one of the most popular features with readers so we make no apology for trying to tempt you out further afield- even this early in the new season


Time Off


DEVON Gardens from further afield


Yeo Valley Organic Farm at Holt Farm, Blagdon, Somerset


The only organic ornamental garden as certified by the Soil Association, with six and a half acres of contemporary planting owned by Mr and Mrs Tim Mead, Holt Farm garden has quirky sculptures, thousands of bulbs, a ‘purple palace’ glasshouse with a collection of semi-hardy exotics, glorious meadows and a ‘posh’ vegetable patch. The newer formal areas of the garden, notably the glasshouse garden, are enclosed by hedging and pleached Malus ‘Red Sentinel’.


The more informal areas have a relaxed contemporary feel with colour themed gardens, perennial and annual flower meadows, a birch grove and streamside garden. In spring the woodland is filled with snowdrops, wood anemones,


primroses and bluebells with hundreds of tulips throughout the garden. In summer the meadows and gravel garden provide the “wow” factor. The gravel garden’s colour, shape and movement is achieved by a tapestry of planting. Autumnal fireworks are provided by late perennial seedheads, grasses and the crab apple avenue.


The Yeo Valley Organic Garden at Holt Farm, Bath Road, Blagdon BS40 7SQ. Telephone: 01761 461650. Open for the NGS: Sunday 21st April, 10am-5pm. Admission: £5, children free. Refreshments, light lunches and home made teas; plants for sale. Coaches welcome. Regular opening: Thursdays, from 25th April to the end of October 10am-5pm and the first Sunday of the month May- October 10am-5pm. For private group visits and events, and general information, email gardens@holtfarmsgroup.co.uk or visit the website www.theyeovalleyorganicgarden.co.uk


Domineys, Buckland Newton, Dorset


Once more this well known garden is open for the Yellow Book, and visitors will be glad to see the garden in the shelter of the Dorset downs where Mr and Mrs W Gueterbock have raised thousands of pounds for the NGS over the past 40 years. The garden surrounding the 17th century thatched house and attractive cottages, was begun in 1961; a two and a half acre arboretum with naturalised bulbs and flowers across the lane dates from 1996. The Gueterbocks describe their early days as “starting ignorant, with a growing learning curve”, and now have a garden for all seasons which they say “may be the antithesis of instant gardening.” Rarities mix with old favourites. There are trees, shrubs, herbaceous


borders, bulbs, annuals and pots, with a kitchen garden, in a good micro-climate and on superb soil. Experience has brought changes over the years to give a place to relate to, enjoy and share ideas for the small garden and choosing trees and shrubs.


Domineys, Buckland Newton, near Dorchester DT2 7BS. Telephone: 01300 345295 or email: cottages@domineys.com Open for the NGS: Sundays 7th Apr; 5th May, and 11th Aug 2pm-6pm. Admission: £4, children free. Home-made teas, plants for sale. Visitors also welcome by appointment, admission £5. This is also a bed and breakfast accommodation venue. Please note: wheelchair access excludes the arboretum.


The Dower House, Headbourne Worthy near Winchester


There are five and a half acres of grounds at this nursing home set in elegant surroundings two miles from Winchester. Visitors to the garden will find easy paths, numerous seats, good views, colourful perennials, shrubs and mature trees (including a large Indian bean tree and Cercis ‘Forest Pansy’). Mrs Judith Lywood, owner of The Dower House, takes a personal interest in the grounds and garden, as do the residents, many of whom have been keen gardeners. There is a bog garden, a pond with fish and adorned with water lilies, a small secret courtyard garden with a fountain and excellent container planting on residents’ patios. For the coming year, the sloped bank is being replanted with


perennial geraniums in various blues, purples and pinks that will flower continually over the summer.


The Dower House, Springvale Road, Headbourne Worthy, Winchester Hampshire S023 7LD. Open for the NGS: Sundays 7th April and 23rd June, 2.30pm-5.30pm. Admission: £3.50, children free. Home-made teas. Wheelchair access. Disability information: Parking at main entrance to house, following path to garden. Dogs welcome on short leads. www.thedowerhouse.net


Country Gardener 43


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