By Maureen Panchen
HIMALAYAN HUT AT MINTERNE GARDENS 2017
One of the exciting projects just completed for Minterne Gardens in the spring was the construction of an authentic Himalayan Hut. Traditionally these huts were built to provide mountain climbers and trekkers with a safe, comfortable and inviting lodging in which to rest, refuel and if necessary sit out inclement weather patterns.
The Head Gardener, Mark Bobin and Maintenance Manager, Mark Mumford constructed the Himalayan Hut from materials sourced entirely from Minterne Garden. Gathering materials close to the area is in keeping with a typical hut construction – in the Himalayas most sites are on steep mountains.
The hut is constructed from stones, rocks & fossils to complete 3 walls; felled Larch from the garden was used for the frame, opening onto a small veranda and a tin roof top it off. A range of rock-loving plants will be introduced into natural crevices in the outer walls including campanula with its blue and rose tints and ferns, all of which will add to the authenticity of the building and provide a rainbow feast for the eyes. Other plants include Inula, Hookeri, Astrantia major.
In the autumn there will be further planting in front of the hut to include heather rhododendrons and other mountain plants which will mirror the Himalayan altitudes.
An educational board will be in place with information, displays and photos and benches will be built inside the hut for garden visitors to rest awhile and contemplate the views across the parkland.
Adorning the Himalayan Hut are prayer flags – a colorful rectangular cloth, often found strung along mountain ridges and peaks high in the Himalayas. They are used to bless the surrounding countryside and for other purposes. Prayer flags are believed to have originated with Bon. In Bon, shamanistic Bonpo used primary-colored plain flags in healing ceremonies in Nepal. They are unknown in other branches of Buddhism.
Garden visitors can enjoy quiet contemplation at Minterne Garden’s Himalayan Hut “Far from the Madding Crowd” after which they can partake of a Cream Tea on the East Terrace overlooking the lake – a blissful experience all round.
Gardens open daily 10am – 6pm, Entrance £5 (Season tickets available here). On the A352 Dorchester to Sherborne road. Cream Teas served daily (weather permitting).
Gardens Open Daily
10am – 6pm * 11th February to 9th November * Admission Price £5.00 (Children under 12 Free)
Season Tickets Available Here
Dogs welcome on leads * Parking is FREE for visitors in the car park opposite St Andrews Church * Minterne currently offers a selection of cream teas (weather permitting - please phone ahead to confirm) * Please note: Unfortunately, Minterne Gardens feature many uneven surfaces and are therefore NOT SUITABLE for wheelchairs * Minterne House itself is a private residence and therefore not open to the public without prior consent.