About 10 miles due south from Sherborne, the Minterne Valley was landscaped in the manner of Capability Brown in the 18th century. The gardens are laid out in a horseshoe below the Elizabethan-styled Minterne House with a chain of small lakes, waterfalls and streams. They contain a unique collection of Himalayan rhododendrons and azaleas with spring bulbs, cherries, maples and many fine and rare trees. The garden is noted for its spring and autumn colours.
Of particular note are the large plants of Magnolia Campbelli which flower in March and April together with a profusion of spring bulbs. Many flowering cherries were brought from Japan in 1920 and the Pieris Forrestii with their brilliant scarlet shoots, originally came from Wakehurst. A very fine collection of Davidia Involucrata (the pocket handkerchief tree) produce striking bracts in late May and early June when the streams are lined with primulas, astilibes and other water plants.
Over 1.5 miles of walks with palm trees, towering rhododendrons framed by tall cedar and beech trees provide a new vista at each turn. The changing seasons make each visit to Minterne a memorable experience.
Free parking and picnic facilities are available but please note that some of the paths are uneven and steep making access for wheelchairs difficult.
Admission to the gardens : £5 (Children under 12 Free)
Open daily mid February – 31st October 10 am – 6 pm.
For further details: www.minterne.co.ukFollow me!