Sunday, 2 June 2013

Marvellous Minterne


It's the end of May and the first warm day in weeks I can't let the sun slip through my grasp, I need some colour, some warmth, some air, some garden. I'm off to Minterne a newly opened gardens in Dorset - you can come too, if you want. I'll put the top-down on the Sockmobile and we'll play Steely Dan loudly and sing along as we pootle down the lanes.

Are you reelin' in the years
Stowin' away the time
Are you gatherin' up the tears
Have you had enough of mine 
The hedgerows are festooned with wildflowers, red campion and bluebells in the prettiest combination of pink and blue

the earthy, nostalgic smell of bluebells and wildgarlic chases away the heavy, cloying, chest-tightening, allergic smell of the vile rape fields as we dawdle along shady, sunlight-dappled lanes.

We're there - only glimpsing the  enormous phallus of the Giant as we hurtle past Cerne Magna - but we're too old to have a little snigger at that aren't we. *sniggers*

Minterne Magna is a pretty little hamlet - nothing there really but a small parking area across the road from  the entrance. There's nobody at the ticket hut.. an honesty box - it's free to RHS members but only a fiver to get in anyway.

Let's follow the discreet signs to the gardens the house to the right and a slope to the small lake (or big pond) in the valley.

Wrong decision - I shouldn't have taken the pathway right in front of the house and along with another couple am politely shooed off by a lady who emerges from the house.  I blame the slightly ambiguous signage and the fact that I followed the people in front of me!

Never mind, wandering down the cool paths with azaleas glowing to each side of me and Handkerchief trees overhead it would be difficult to feel anything but mellow, it is all so very pleasant.

I would love my own Handkerchief tree but its too late in my timeline to start planting trees now and see them through to maturity.. I've been 'Reelin in the Years' a little too long.

Let's head down into the valley - there will be a stream there and I do love a bit of boggy planting.  Such a shame that my garden is dry chalk when all my favourite plants are acid, damp lovers.  I'm about to get my fix of them..

Let's get in a bit closer..

Yellow, pink and green perfection! Who'd have known those colours could look good together?

The greens are beyond green and I love the texture on this clever, crisp, combination of ferns and whateveritis.

Who can resist a little cascade of water? Certainly not the birds diving across the water and butterflies hovering around it.

Around a corner another handkerchief tree.. you wait for ages to see one and then.......... more handkerchief trees than you could shake a stick at!

The picture reminds me of those old black and white films that have been 'colourized' at a later date - it seems a little unreal.

The primula candelabra are the stars here - they are everywhere.  I chat to a couple wandering around spellbound as I am - they have visited before, but in Autumn, and hadn't expected this extraordinary abundance of colour where the late spring has meant that everything it blooming at once.

I rest awhile at this point under the shade of another handkerchief tree - the sun highlighting the grassy reeds and making them glow to the side of the gently moving stream.  It's so verdant, the limited colour palette more tranquil but still a thousand different shades of green.  I think this might be my favourite spot to sit and dream.

But a short walk on and this  - with a fabulous gunnera leaning over the water. I'm sure I overheard the couple say they didn't like gunnera!!!! What's wrong with them?!

then this - with the warm, evocative stone of an old bridge

or this - a vista full of enchantment.

So many places we could while away the hours.

It's time to go. What shall we sing in the Sockmobile on the way back?  I will return and you can come too - but I'm not sure it's ever going to be quite so glorious again.



Anonymous said...

Ah meconopsis, my favourite flower. I often come away with a smile on my face after reading your blog, the "whateveritis" did it for me today ;-)) - Gunnera, who could not like gunnera, although mine is only big enough to hide a cat, not grown people like that one.


Anonymous said...

What a glorious garden; we must have passed close a few weekends ago when we stayed in Dorset (though my husband is a reluctant garden-visitor so we took a trip to the coast instead).
So much colour!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking us along! I used to live in Dorset, but was at an age where the girls playing beach volleyball between Bournmouth and Sandbanks took up my attention on days off work. Nowadays I know where I'd rather be...

Arabella Sock said...

Helen, knowing that my blog brings a smile to your face makes me very happy. This is what my blog is usually written to achieve although sometimes a less cheerful reality creeps in.

Hillwards, I'm a bit with your husband - I love gardens but if I was going to choose between one and a fabulous coastal walk it would usually be the latter. Sometimes the wildflowers growing along the coastal paths are way more beautiful.

Pianolearner, it was surfers for me! Still love the sea and wandering along beaches.

Ms B said...

You are very lucky seeing some handkerchief trees AND the whatever it is. Looks very lush & calming.

Anonymous said...

I think the cold spring has meant that the wildflowers look more spectacular this year than I have seen before. Everything out all at once in one big colourful froth. Dorset is a county I have yet to really discover. Looks a beautiful place. I'm craving a coastal walk at the moment. *sighs*