Fishpond Bottom residents to open gardens in aid of church

AS lockdown restrictions ease, the small community of Fishpond Bottom, near Lyme Regis, will finally be able to open their gardens to the public in a bid to raise much needed funds for the village church church.

Nestling just below the historic Lamberts Castle, eight private gardens that range from mature and traditional cottage gardens to newer gardens designed and built by RHS award winners – but all boasting amazing views and tended with love by their passionate owners – will be open to visitors over the weekend of June 12 and 13.

For most, this will be the first time they have been open to the public and are being opened to raise funds for better facilities in St John the Baptist Church, allowing it to become a venue for more community events.

Originally planned for the summer of 2020 and cancelled because of the pandemic, the Fishpond Open Gardens organisers feel the further lifting of restrictions on May 17 mean it will now be possible to open the gardens with all the necessary COVID-19 precautions in place.

Entry will be by ticket purchased on the day from the church, which will also be hosting refreshments, cake and jam sales and a plant stall with expert advice on hand. There will also be a raffle for luxury hamper.

Tickets will cost £6 per person (children under 16 have free entry) for entry to all eight gardens. All sales will need to be cash or cheque only and a name and address will be required for NHS Track and Trace purposes

The gardens will be open from 11am to 5pm both days.

Parking is available in designated areas situated between the gardens and a map and details of each of open the gardens will be provided with each ticket.

The open gardens will include:

  • Small modern garden, designed by Chelsea gold medallist Ruth Willmott, inspired by the curves of the surrounding landscape. It aims to offer a sense of seclusion.
  • A former bramble wilderness and building site that now boasts mixture of English flower borders, a Kitchen Potager and a fruit and veg plot.
  • A 1.5-acre new garden developed over the last four years, with raised beds, ornamental grasses and a variety of herbaceous borders and a pergola walk.
  • A cottage garden that has evolved rather randomly with flower borders, a vegetable plot and just a dash of young topiary.
  • A cottage style garden where the stars are pots and baskets filled with colourful annuals that share the space with a shepherd’s hut, chickens and ducks.
  • A well-established cottage garden that’s a haven for wildlife, with herbaceous beds mainly planted with shrubs & perennials.
  • A ½ acre garden of two halves built over the last five years by the RHS award-winning owners that has a plantaholics’ ornamental garden.
  • A hidden treasure nestling into the lee side of Coney’s Castle, with herbaceous borders, a sun-drenched terrace, vegetable plot and pond area. This tranquil spot is a haven for wildlife.
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