Thursday, 18 June 2015

A secret garden in the heart of a Dorset town

In through the gateway we go, along a path and down past the hurdle fence.

We're out in a little terrace, a real sun trap, in front of a cottage. There are swathes of blue love in a mist flowers to the left of us.

'Follow the arrows,' our hostess says. 'There's tea and home made cake at the bottom of the garden.'

We're in the heart of Beaminster. It's a little cottage tucked behind an ordinary terrace. But the grounds are a dream. They're full of wild flowers and informal planting, a real joy for a country child like me.

There are wooden seats here and there, and a bit of statuary. There are also some few people ambling around, lured in by the red balloon on the gate.
We make our way down through foxgloves, ox-eye daisies, spurge, lavender and valerian, along a springy grass and clover path the width of a lawnmower.

'You're going to love this bit,' my friend says. She's been here before and she also knows me very well.
It's a little summerhouse. But what a summerhouse. I've never seen anything quite like it.
Beautifully crafted, it comes complete with amazing curved windows, a woodburning stove, telephone point and bath.

'I could write here,' I tell Mr Grigg. I don't tell him I could also move in and live the life of a Hobbit.

He wouldn't have heard me in any case. He's gone in to get a slice of lemon drizzle cake and a cup of tea in vintage china.

At the bottom of the garden is the young River Brit, gurgling and splashing and having fun.
 There's a seat here with Mr Nobody sitting in it.
Then a voice pipes up from across the path.

'Look out for the otter,' says a man sitting on a swinging seat with his wife. 'There's also a kingfisher about.'
Such tranquillity, right in the heart of town.

There are other gardens open along here, in aid of the National Gardens Scheme. But this one is open in aid of Dorset's Weldmar Hospice in memory of Ruth David, a very special woman, full of joy and laughter and taken far too early.

Admission to 55 East Street, Beaminster, is free, with donations to the hospice. It's open this Sunday, 21 June, between 2 and 5pm.

That's about it.

Love Maddie x


  1. What wonderful write up so pleased you had a lovely afternoon
    It really is a special place

  2. Thank you for opening it. It's a delight.


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