Minterne Magna Dorchester Dorset DT2 7AU

On A352 Dorchester/Sherborne road, 2 miles north of Cerne Abbas.
27 acres

About the garden

Owned by
The Hon. Henry Digby

A woodland garden, best in spring, and well integrated into the park around the handsome Edwardian house. The valley was landscaped in the 18th century with a series of small lakes and cascades. The oldest rhododendrons came from Hooker's collection, but the remarkable Lord Digby (grandfather of the present owner) supported Farrer, Forrest, Rock and Kingdon Ward, which makes Minterne one of the best Himalayan collections.

The circular walk down a greensand valley to the woodland stream and back again is ravishing: magnolias and Japanese cherries are underplanted with camellias and azaleas, while candelabra primulas and astilbes line the pools at the bottom. The fine collection of trees includes exceptional specimens of Corylus avellana 'Heterophylla' and Cercidiphyllum japonicum, while the many handkerchief trees (Davidia involucrata) are sensational in late May.


Non-member adult £5. Please check website for more details.


  • Dogs welcome
  • Group rates
  • Parking
  • Picnics allowed
  • Toilets


Opening times

10am–6pm; daily; mid-Feb to 9 Nov. Please check website for more details.

Free Access for RHS Members

Free access applies throughout open period.


01300 341370


  • Autumn colour
  • Pond or lake
  • Wildflower meadow
  • Woodland

Plants of special interest

  • Bluebells
  • Camellias
  • Clematis
  • Conifers
  • Cyclamen
  • Daffodils
  • Ferns
  • Grasses
  • Hostas
  • Magnolias
  • Maple
  • Primulas
  • Rhododendrons/azaleas
  • Snowdrops
  • Waterlilies
  • Wildflowers
  • Wisteria