Compton Acres is a fabulous independent garden in Poole, Dorset and the Heather Garden there was just one of the gardens that blew us away when we visited in March last year. The garden has over 100 different forms of heathers, and if I'm honest who knew there were so many?
I don't seem to have much luck with heathers in my own garden and while there's some heather around the lake in Greenwich Park, nothing on this scale. But we weren't aware of what lay ahead of us until we turned the corner and saw this:
I told you it was quite something.
Originally this space, which is south facing and full of rocky banks was the summer home of Thomas Simpson's cactus and succulent collection, which I'm sure would be equally as impactful. That was lost during World War II and after it was transformed into what would have been, at the time, a highly fashionable heather garden.
There were walkways and benches to get up close to the heather, and so that's what I did. Each plant was full of colour, and nothing like the sorry plants I've had in my garden, and which has led me to give up on heather in this garden. It's all in the soil, and my woodland-like garden isn't where they want to be.
As you can see from the colour of the sky March last year was much different to this year, which I'm grateful for, but I can't help but wonder if the Heather Garden was as spectacular with a grey backdrop. It may well have been.
Despite being wowed by the overall sense of the garden there were still quirks to discover as you explored its paths. These two lead statues were fun and elegant at the same time.
So who knew that heather could be this amazing, certainly not me and I couldn't help but be a little envious of the residents close by who overlooked this part of the garden. I've plenty more to show you from this fascinating garden, and I'll do that over the next few weeks, but if you're in the area - or even close by - do go and have a look for yourself, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.