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The gardens at Domineys Dorset Holiday Cottages.



From 2018 onwards our garden and small arboretum is open throughout the year for Groups and individuals by mutually convenient appointment. We aim for the garden and small arboretum to be enjoyed in all seasons from snowdrop time to the colours of autumn with Camellias flowering from mid October to the end of May. Please phone 01300 345 295 or email to discuss a visit and find a mutually convenient date. We have been opening for over 30 years for the National Gardens Scheme (NGS), to which all proceeds are given. Thanks to the support of our visitors and helpers nearly £50,000 has been sent to the NGS, since we first opened for them. Admission is £6 for adults for individual or group visits; children under 12 years old free. Any number welcome.

We believe the garden is a place to be shared and look forward to welcoming you. Domineys Yard is 11 miles from both Dorchester and Sherborne, 2 miles east of the A352 in Buckland Newton and close to the B3143. Take the 'no through road' after passing the Church and 25 yards from the Gaggle of Geese (sadly closed at the moment). The entrance is 100 yards on the left. See the map on website. With Satnav DT2 7BS brings you to the house.

The Garden and Small Arboretum

The planting of the garden, which you see today at Domineys Yard, was started when we moved here in the spring of 1961. For us, new to gardening, there was a slow beginning, punctuated by longish periods, when I was away in the Royal Navy. However we were greatly helped in our first twenty years by periods between jobs, sometimes running into several weeks. These at that time throughout the Navy (for gardeners and non gardeners) were appropriately known as 'gardening leave'. This was especially useful when we had opportunity to take in additional areas. Much good advice was received from the nurseryman Charlie Marchant of Keepers Hill, Wimborne, who clearly thought that a Naval Officer gardening needed detailed guidance. The great asset is the soil, greensand, which is an ideal neutral growing medium that can be encouraged relatively easily to an acid or alkaline condition. The garden also contains good microclimates, despite being situated on the 500 feet contour on the northern flank of the Dorset Downs overlooking the Blackmore Vale. Cold air drains off readily into the frost pocket below us. There are 2.5 acres of garden, gradually expanded and planted since 1961. Seeing the growth of the trees today it is difficult to believe the 2.5 acre arboretum was first planted after retirement in 1995.

The garden has developed as a place to explore, to sit in or, to wander through or, may be just to talk. Each season, often each week, brings its changes. The garden is planted to provide plenty of interest throughout the year. We have planted for all seasons including the autumn colour. There are many unusual trees and shrubs in the garden and arboretum. We have over 130 camellias. There are dwarf rhododendrons, acers, cornus, eucryphia, euonymus, ilex, clematis, magnolia to mention a few. Many bulbs thrive, as do herbaceous perennials and annuals. We grow vegetables and soft fruit. Due to the variation in the soil, both lime and acid loving plants can be grown within our two and a half acres, often in remarkably close proximity. A soil tester is an essential aid to planting.

The small arboretum is across the lane. The paddock in the centre has some well established specimen trees including two micro propagated elms and is home to now naturalised fritillaries and dwarf daffodils. It is grazed by sheep and is the visitor car park on open days. Situated a few hundred yards below its source, the river Lydden runs through the arboretum. In addition to other examples of trees and shrubs already growing in the garden, the arboretum contains numbers of, acer, alder, birch, crataegus, tulip trees, liquid amber, crab apple (mostly grown from seed), oak, willow, camellias (again some flowering from our seedlings) and rhododendrons as well as other rare trees and shrubs. The growth of the trees has been remarkably swift. It is an opportunity to judge trees suitable for a small garden.

We are delighted to show and share with you the results of a lifetime of gardening and the changes that we have made since we came to live here. Jeanette and William Gueterbock, Domineys Yard, Buckland Newton, Dorchester, Dorset, DT2 7BS. Tel: (01300) 345295 email:

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