A tranquil, peaceful and intimate spot, the gardens are beautifully situated in undulating Dorset countryside, with a lake, canals, broad sweeping and formal gardens.
The lovely 35 acre formal gardens were created by the Hanburys between 1915 and 1922 within the existing framework of an eighteenth century Capability Brown style parkland setting and the vestiges of a Victorian garden.
The formal gardens are set on a number of axes – the main north/south axis leads from the Red Garden, through the Mediterranean Border, to the Double Herbaceous Border and the main east/west axis leads from the Brick Garden, along the Terrace Border, and the south front of the Main House.
On either side of these axes are small areas of self contained “compartments” or “rooms”, partitioned by hedges of crisply cut yew or box, which form the main structure of these gardens. Each of these has a central feature, such as a pool, or statuary or a theme, such as Penstemon Terrace or Rose Garden.
Each garden has a distinct character of its own and the carefully orchestrated planting and plant associations, designed to give colour throughout the year, all unite to ensure an overall pattern and harmony together with the subtle blending of the formal with the informal.
The gardens have been sympathetically restored using photographs from the 1930s retaining the best features of the old and introducing new ones.
This is the first garden visitors see on the approach from the Visitor Centre and was designed in the classic Italian Renaissance style, as at “La Mortola”, by the Hanburys.
The Temple Mound & The Temple of The Four Winds
Visitors who climb up to the Temple have a wonderful panoramic view of the gardens and the Dorset countryside, virtually untouched since Thomas Hardy’s time
A grassy path leads on to the Penstemon Terrace which is protected by dark green yew buttresses and planted with paeonies
The Brick Garden
This is a completely enclosed circular garden with neatly clipped box edges geometrically arranged in crescents around a central bed
The Herbaceous Border
This is the traditional English double herbaceous border densely planted with a rich variety of herbaceous perennials
The Crown Garden
Visitors should note the diamond shaped claire-voyee, providing a view through to the Temple
The Japanese Garden
The charming Japanese Garden lies adjacent to the north shore of the lake
The Elizabethan Walled Garden
The walled garden was built at the same time as the Elizabethan Manor House and was originally used to grow fruit and vegetables for the household
Waterfall Field and Manor Field
Notable specimens include a find tulip tree from America and a magnificent 200 year old oriental plane tree
The Spring Garden
A more informal garden with attractive specimen conifers underplanted with low growing shrubs and ground covered herbaceous perennials.
The Secret Garden
The wild garden contains a picturesque seat romantically hidden by a curtain of weeping cherry
The Croquet Lawn
The croquet lawn is let to Kingston Maurward Association Croquet Club and must be one of the most picturesque venues for this unusual game.
The Terrace Garden
The Terrace was designed as a ‘viewing terrace’ onto the landscape vista and is characteristic of an eighteenth century garden.