Visitors to Crewkerne Open Gardens found the hot weather ideal for seeing the gardens at their colourful best. Twelve gardens took part in the bank holiday Monday event, organised by the Friends of Crewkerne Parish Church. Many of the ‘hidden gems’ are privately owned, with the open gardens providing a rare opportunity to view the abundance of flowers and different landscapes. Steeply terraced gardens, planted with trees and shrubs, offered panoramic views across the town to the surrounding hills. Colourful herbaceous borders with ponds and rockeries, patio gardens with low alpines and perennials and well planted smaller gardens with vegetable patches added to the delight of keen gardeners.
Other gardens carried a wealth of history with a 17th Century walled garden with a Dame School in Pople’s Well along from the former abbey and coach house in Abbey Street and a colourful corner at the alms houses in West Street. Visitors to the pretty courtyard garden at Crewkerne Museum & Heritage Centre were also able to browse through the galleries and see the museum’s main exhibition on farming in Crewkerne’s past.
The large walled garden at The Speedwell, in the lee of the historic church tower of St Bartholomew’s, proved an ideal setting for a plant stall and the serving of cream teas. All the gardens taking part were within reasonable walking distance of the town centre. Maps were supplied with ticket sales and for those who were unsure where the secret gardens were situated, helpful volunteers were on duty outside of the town hall, and were happy to point them in the right direction.