About the garden
Mr & Mrs Townshend
Abbotsbury is a woodland garden of splendid trees and shrubs of great rarity, which has enjoyed a spectacular renaissance in recent years. As a result it won the HHA Christie's Garden of the Year Award in 2012. This is still a garden where rare plants (especially trees and shrubs) are matched by exceptional rates of growth and a very high standard of maintenance. Even the native oak trees are exceptional for their height. Palms, eucalyptus, pittosporum, banana plants, camellias, large areas of gunneras and streams of libertias all grow lushly in the sheltered valley and romantic walled garden.
Among the trees are many exceptionally large specimens of species that are normally too tender to grow in southern England – including Buxus balearica, Ilex fargesii, Photinia nussia, Picconia excelsa, and Pittosporum crassifolium.
The valley of tree ferns is extremely impressive too. Spring colour gives way to a sub-tropical summer display – cannas, tree ferns, kniphofias, dahlias and bright bedding. Watsonias and agapanthus seem to have naturalised. There has been a lot of good planting in recent years, including many new species introduced by such collectors as Roy Lancaster. This is a garden of outstanding beauty and very high plant interest. An excellent nursery makes for added value.