January (Gardens Closed)











December (Gardens Closed)

Month by Month in the Gardens

In a bid to help you visualise what you may expect to see on a visit to Minterne Gardens, we have split the year up into the following monthly ‘areas’ which will give you a good idea of what you may expect to see at its finest – and roughly when. Please select a relevant month from the list below.

Why not make the most of Minterne with a season ticket? These are available for families and individuals. More information is available on the visitor information page.

You can keep up to date with how the gardens are looking with daily updates via our Twitter and Facebook pages or read our monthly blog updates for unique insights into all the happenings in this “corner of paradise”.

Reasons To Visit The Gardens This Month


By Mark Bobin, Head Gardener

This month, Minterne gardens will have the beautiful and delicate bell-shaped flowers of snowdrops. A sure sign that spring is on the way!

Galanthus (snowdrops) cover the ground as you journey through the garden. A very photogenic plant to capture at this time of year, with a crisp blue sky or the outlines of a leaveless leaflesstrees in the background.

The name Galanthus is from the Greek, meaning milk flower and the species name nivalis means ‘of the snow’.

The bulbous herbaceous perennials love moist conditions and given this environment will multiply in drifts, giving you the ‘carpet’ effect.

As an extra incentive to see these delicate beauties we are offering a special 2-for-1 entry (£6 for two adults) to the gardens during snowdrop season.

With St. Valentine’s Day just around the corner (14th February gents!), what better time to share one of Dorset’s “best kept secrets” in this corner of paradise? Whether you tell your better half that it is 2-for-1 is entirely up to you! Given the beautiful flowers on show at Minterne, we thought we would take a look at the connection between flowers and weddings with some of the top floral displays at Minterne in this months blog.

Speaking of romance – we are delighted this month to have been named one of the Evening Standard’s top 19 wedding venues in the UK and featured on the excellent Bridebook.co.uk site. To celebrate, we have put together a table of wedding venues in Dorchester to allow a simple, side-by-side comparison for brides to be. If you know someone getting married this year, let them know about this excellent resource.

Reasons To Visit The Gardens This Month

Rhododendrons and Daffodils

By Mark Bobin, Head Gardener

With spring around the corner, Minterne Gardens is bursting with an abundance of new growth and fresh young leaves are emerging.

Early flowering Rhododendrons will be out this month, one of which is a Lord Digby hybrid named “Early Stir” from 1934 and is a cross between R.strigillosum and R. irroatum ssp irroatum. Another species Rhododendron to look out for is Rhododendron pravernum.

Narcissus (daffodils) will be starting to show their bright yellow flowers all over the garden. The newly planted Hoop petticoat daffodils (Narcissus bulbocodium) near the scented garden will be making their first appearance this spring.

Some of Minterne’s “winter varieties” should still be out this month -Winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis) and Winter heliotrope (Petasites fragrans). Our popular ground cover plants Oriental borage (Trachystemon orientalis) are spreading their flowers all round the garden and Magnolia campbelii will also be showing it’s huge purple blooms (hopefully no frost, fingers crossed!)

Last but not least the Camellias will be out.


Reasons To Visit The Gardens This Month

Rhododenrons, Magnolias, Selfheal

By Mark Bobin, Head Gardener

As you would expect at this time of year, the garden will be full of Rhododendrons such as Rh. sinogrande, Rh. augustinii, Rh. falconeri to name just a few of the many varieties at Minterne. Magnolia sieboldii and other Magnolias will be in flower. Cherry Avenue will be in its full glory with cascading blooms. Not forgetting our Wildflowers such as Cowslips and Selfheal (Prunella vulgaris) which will be appearing this month. Cowslips were associated with English folklore and traditionally adorned May Day garlands.

A member of the mint family, Selfheal has cheerful violet flowers – some people welcome them but others are known to revile them as a pesky weed in herb gardens! Odd to think that 3-4 centuries ago herbalists held this plant in high esteem.

Whether you are a fan of wildflowers or Minterne’s historical collection of stunning Rhododendrons, the garden is worth a visit this month as it reaches its peak and ushers in the spring.


Henni & Gene will be commencing the service from this weekend – Saturday 1st AprilCream Teas In Dorset

They will be here DAILY through the summer (weather permitting – phone ahead to confirm 01300 341370). They will also be offering sandwiches from Easter onwards.


Gardens Open Daily
10am – 6pm    *    1st February to end of November    *    Admission Price £6.00 (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.