callmemadam (callmemadam) wrote,
callmemadam
callmemadam

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Secret Gardens

This afternoon, Wimborne was full of people wandering about dressed in comfortable sandals and shady hats and clutching yellow leaflets. Twelve private gardens were open in aid of Wimborne in Bloom. This is a wonderful opportunity to find a little gem of a garden behind an apparently mundane facade. I didn't manage twelve and of those I saw, one was absolutely outstanding, inspiring and magical. House and garden together are an on-going project, a labour of love and art by one man. The house is a conventional Victorian semi but as soon as you walk in the front door the spell is cast. Everything is original: floor tiles, doors, stained glass. Everything has been decorated with objects to suit the period. The tour begins in the conservatory



which has been built by the owner. I think it has a look of San Francisco about it.

Once outside, you are surrounded by plants and artefacts, all cunningly placed. There are three major structures in this small plot. The most recent, below, looks as if it had been there forever.



This next one was built from a porch which would have ended up on a skip. It's been richly decorated inside in a rather Pugin-esque style.



Everywhere you look there are salvaged objects like these lamposts.



The back gate has been made to measure from old wood.



The flowerpot man enjoys a drink.



Next to a tree house (no picture, sorry), is a giant ladybird.



Objects found, rescued or collected on travels fill every nook and cranny: there is not one dull spot. My favourite corner is probably the fernery (I go for the dim and gothic) which includes a lovely memorial to the owner's father.



Here sempervivums have found a happy home.



It's not all quirkiness, though. There are also conventional beds for fruit, vegetables and dahlias.



I've been depressed on my house hunting forays to see that most people take no interest at all in their gardens. This afternoon's outing showed just what can be done in a small space with enough imagination (and hard work).
Tags: art, gardening, open gardens, wimborne
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