A group of us enjoyed the spring sunshine in our first visit of the year to Forde Abbey. Swathes of crocuses and daffodils naturalised in the grass enlivened the lawns in front of the Abbey while in the woodland arboretum several magnificent Magnolias, particularly M. sprengeri impressed with their huge pink flowers. Another attractive seasonal element was a tapestry of blue anemones and cyclamen growing out of beech mast.
As ever the Centenary fountain drew visitors at midday to view the jet reaching a height of 49 metres, the highest in England. Gardeners were hard at work in the walled kitchen garden preparing flowers and salad crops for the summer season. Its layout in rows of precisely spaced plants contained by its warm brick walls is a wonderful contrast to the free form gardens beyond.
Most of us completed our visits in the plant centre which includes a wide range of well grown perennials. Fortunately, there was room on the coach to house the purchases on our way back to Bridport.