11. Dorset

Monday 21 June 2021

Stanbridge Mill, Gussage All Saints
The Lord and Lady Phillimore

Arabella Lennox-Boyd originally designed the gardens at Stanbridge Mill, but subsequent head gardeners, while beautifully maintaining her layout, have added to the gardens. The gin-clear River Allen and its mill-race meander through the property, with walks along the banks towards the Fishing Hut designed by John Stefanidis. South of the house, huge willows spread over informal borders of roses and perennials. These run down to a grove of birch trees, surrounded by a double circle of tall beech hedges. Behind the house, a series of formal garden compartments are enclosed by a cobb wall in what had been the miller’s garden. A vista towards the swimming pool leads through several garden rooms, one with a cloister of pleached limes. The attention to detail throughout the garden, from paving to planting, is magnificent. In recent years the garden has been taken in hand by the Phillimores and their head gardener, and this lovely garden is flourishing in very safe hands.

Knoll Gardens, Hampreston
Neil Lucas

The four acres of Knoll Garden could hardly provide a greater contrast to Stanbridge Mill. Originally carrot fields, these were transformed into an arboretum in the 1970s. Woody botanic treasures include a Cork Oak, a Ginkgo, Eucalyptus, the Australian Snowdrop Tree, Atherosperma moschatum, the Willow Oak, Quercus phellos, and Crinodendron hookerianum. In late 1994 Neil Lucas took over and began another radical replanting. To the existing trees and shrubs were added great swathes of perennials including Persicarias, Heleniums, Verbenas, Helianthus, Asters and Sanguisorbas, and above all, grasses. Having arrived with about twenty species, mostly Miscanthus and Pennisetum, the range has expanded hugely over the last 26 years, demonstrating the versatility of grasses, both in habit and habitat, ranging from Panicum to shade-loving Hakonechloa. The garden now houses the National Collection of Pennisetum. Although it is a garden regularly open, we will have a private tour with its creator, Neil Lucas.

Knoll Gardens Tour 11

Knoll Gardens Tour 11

Meet at Stanbridge Mill. Lunch at 10 Castle Street, Cranborne