Sunday, 11 May 2014

A Visit to Mapperton Gardens, Dorset

On Tuesday my dear friend Rachel and I met up at Mapperton Gardens near Beaminster in Dorset. Despite this being a mere 20 (or so) minutes drive for me, I'd never been there before (neither had Rachel.) As luck would have it, the garden is one of the many accepting this year's Gardener's World 2-for-1 entry card so it was an absolutely bargain at just £3 each.
The house is only open for a few days a year (mostly in July and August) as the Earl and Countess of Sandwich live there, so we had to content ourselves with a wander round the outside of this gorgeous Jacobean manor.



And then it was time to explore the gardens. Not a bad start - anyone for croquet?

I rather liked this little 'gazebo' down in the corner. I wonder if hubby could construct one in our garden?
Especially if he pops a little fire in the corner to help keep the chill away.
The majority of the garden is set down in this secluded valley spot, which reveals itself as you descend some steps from the corner besides the gazebo at the edge of the croquet lawn.
At first glance it reminded me of the Blue Peter Italian sunken garden designed by Percy Thrower back in the late 1970s (showing my age), perhaps this is where he got his ideas...




And here's a lovely line-up of topiary inspired by jelly tots. I'm such a heathen.

Beautiful summer house overlooking what I thought was a swimming pool, but I think was/is in actual fact a fish pond. Wasted on the fish, in my opinion.
The gardens then open up from this formal area into a more wild section with lots of specimen shrubs and trees. Of which I managed to take zero photos. Blogger fail.

And when we had finished our wandering we were able to refuel in the lovely Sawmill Cafe.
A delicious goats cheese and caramelised onion tart with a wonderful array of salads. And there may have been treacle tart and clotted cream for dessert...
All in all a lovely way to spend a couple of hours, and I would thoroughly recommend a visit to Mapperton if you happen to be in the area (or even if you're not.)

5 comments:

  1. What a stunning garden and house, lucky Earl and Countess of Sandwich. Imagine waking up in the morning and being able to go out and wander around in that. Sigh. I particularly love those topiary hedges, they are as you say exactly like jelly tots. Wonderful.

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    Replies
    1. I know, how lucky? I'm looking forward to a return visit when the house is open too.

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  2. It looks really lovely, hmmm maybe I should rethink my garden makeover - if I had another couple of acres lol!!
    Lunch looks very tasty too!

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