The gardens at Wayford Manor haven’t been open for the last couple of years. New owners have ‘had the builders in’ in a big way. But this year they were back on the case with the NGS last Sunday – a chance not to be missed even on a drizzly afternoon at the end of May. Just a hop over the river into Somerset.

The Elizabethan manor is set high up on the side of a valley, facing south. This makes for a wonderful garden setting.  It’s Grade II listed (the garden that is) in the Arts & Crafts style.

There’s even a loggia where you can have your tea and cake on open days.

Near the house at the top there are terraces. As you ventured down hill it becomes more informal, with ponds and a ‘Chinese’ garden designed by Harold Peto in 1902.

Right down at the bottom there are drifts of candelabra primroses in excellent granny’s knickers colours.

And when you find a gap between the trees there are wonderful views….

…across the border back into Dorset.

At Wayford Manor it’s the setting, layout and overall atmosphere of the garden that’s the star. It’s not really are plantsman’s garden as such, but there are some choice shrubs like this Cornus kousa…

…if you’re prepared to hold your camera above your head to get a shot.

Have a click through the gallery at more pics…

So, with appetite whetted, time to see what other gardens there are around here worth a nosey around with a little help from the NGS garden finder:

Mappercombe Manor – 6th June

Chideock Manor – 10th & 11th June

Little Bredy Walled Gardens 20th & 27th June

The Manor House, Beaminster 24th & 25th June

(note the penchant for old manor houses – not a trace of house envy here!)