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Gardens to Visit - Forde Abbey

We would like to start this series with Forde Abbey, less than ten miles from the Sitting Spiritually Garden.

Forde Abbey, has a rich and varied history spanning 900 years. Through the centuries, it has played host to Cistercian monks at prayer, 19th-century philosophers and politicians, and more recently, the backdrop to the Hollywood adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’.

Home to the highest powered fountain in the country, the award-winning gardens include topiary lined vistas, colourful herbaceous borders, an arboretum, a bog garden, which together with swathes of early Spring bulbs and camellias provide all year round interest. Designed to incorporate both the formal and informal aspects of garden design, the straight lines give way to meandering pathways the further you head away from the house, with plenty of swing seats & benches to admire the views along the way.

A garden is never the finished article, but more like a chapter that is constantly being written, re-written and edited to shape the flow and style of the narrative. The garden at Forde Abbey has slowly evolved over 900 years to reflect the lifestyle and taste of each generation living there, currently Alice & Julian Kennard and their three children are taking their turn to maintain this beautiful building and the surrounding garden and farmland.

We are delighted to have three pieces of Sitting Spiritually furniture at Forde Abbey:

 A Harmony Painted Pine Swing Seat in Farrow & Ball’s glorious red, Blazer.  You will find this under the pagoda right by the Centenary Fountain.  Sit there on a hot day at 12 noon, 1.30pm and 3pm & you may even get a welcome light shower! And if you stand at the top end of the fountain, you’ll often see a rainbow.

 An oak Pergola & Curve Back Swing Seat, situated by two interconnecting swirls of wild flowers, which earlier in the year has a spectacular tulip walk.

 An Oak Fan Back Swing Seat, found on “The Mount” with beautiful views across the gardens to the Abbey

Key things to look out for on a visit to Forde Abbey are below, and we direct you to their excellent website to read more…..

Increasing the footprint of the meadows

Tulips in Spring

An introduction to the new head gardener

The Wildflower Swirls in September

Coming up now....don’t miss the lots and lots of dahlias from July all the way through to October in the kitchen garden.

If you've never visited Forde Abbey, we hope we have tempted you to pay a long overdue visit, and if you do know it, you'll already we aware what a rare gem it is.  And don't forget, Forde Abbey is only ten miles from the Sitting Spiritually Show Garden, so why not pay us a visit on the same day, just do call us first to check someone is here (01297 443084)

Posted by Siobhan on July 10th 2018

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