I love visiting open gardens to get new ideas about what I can be ‘sewing and growing’. I recently had the pleasure of going to Forde Abbey near Chard in Dorset. It is a beautiful place, combining diverse and vibrant planting with moody and intriguing statues and design.
The gardens are about 30 acres in total and with all that space, it didn’t feel busy, even though there were plenty of visitors. It has several ponds, including one which apparently has the tallest fountain in the UK. It’s pretty spectacular – my photo of the fountain doesn’t do it justice. We only went into the gardens rather than the house itself – it was that fortnight when it was super hot weather and really far too much to be indoors!!
Particular highlights for me were:
– the wonderful walled garden. They grow most of the veggies for the cafe there, plus a whole of host of really stunning flowers. How I long for my own walled garden like this…
– The swathes of gladioli
– The bog garden full of both unusual and quite common plants, but planted in such a way that it felt like a mini Jurassic park. In particular, there is a plant like a giant rhubarb – I don’t know the name of it, but it’s huge, like having a personal umbrella to stand under
– The biggest thistles I have ever seen!
– Ok, ok….I admit it. The plant shop. It’s lovely! I left with four eryngiums, although could easily have bought more!
As they say, a picture speaks a thousand words and can describe how beautiful Forde Abbey is way better than I can, so here you go: