Knoll Gardens are in Dorset, England. So I know a good many Rant Readers will wonder if it’s of any interest to them. I hope I can bring some interest by offering my thoughts, pictures and impressions from our visit to it this week.

So – not a mine of information about the garden – you can get that on their website   and a little here, from the rather battered info sheet we were given: (We battered it. It was pristine originally)

Knoll Garden plan copyright Anne Wareham

My apologies for the number of pictures that Charles managed to worm his way into, principally by walking ahead of me. 

Here is the inevitable Charles and a photo which will give you an idea of the kind of garden it is. Lots of beautiful and often exotic trees

Knoll Garden copyright Anne Wareham

and sort of ‘naturalistic’ planting. Which, as Michael King once said, is always anything but. 

Knoll Garden copyright Anne Wareham

One of the loveliest things at Knoll for me was this way trees were framed and displayed. I don’t know what they are, but you may work it out from our leaflet:

Knoll Garden copyright Anne Wareham

Knoll Garden copyright Anne Wareham

The most amazing tree had fallen over.

Knoll Garden copyright Anne Wareham

And remained stupendous.

Knoll Garden copyright Anne Wareham

Wonderful!

Some plants were usefully labelled (a photographer’s dream) :

Knoll Garden copyright Anne Wareham

I still hate that sort of edging……but there is no bare soil.

Tree label copyright Charles Hawes

Some were not:

Knoll Garden copyright Anne Wareham

We discovered an app on our phones which identified some plants – sometimes even accurately, and this has to be the future for garden visitors.  But right now it needs to be followed up with research to be sure of an accurate identification.

And I thought I might win your love by identifying some of the plants retrospectively using Google Lens, but

Knoll Garden copyright Anne Wareham

sadly not that one. And this is really what Knoll Gardens is about – ornamental grasses. 

There are still some people, certainly in the UK, who dislike ornamental grasses. (This is one guilty party – Robin Lane Fox ) But we love them. 

Knoll Garden copyright Anne Wareham

This was even better in the flesh – pure silver. Our app claimed it is Miscanthus sinensis, but I think it may be a variety of. Perhaps ‘Sarabande’?

What about this – ever thought Pampas Grass was suburban?

Cortaderia (Selloana?) copyright Anne Wareham

Cortaderia (Selloana?)

This made us want to make the effort to clean up the stems of our bamboo:

Bamboo boniopsis at Knoll Gardens copyright Anne Wareham

Bamboo boniopsis?

Here are some grasses in the garden landscape:

Knoll Garden copyright Anne Wareham

and

Knoll Gardens copyright Charles Hawes

Thanks to photographer Charles Hawes!

 

Knoll Gardens copyright Charles Hawes

Charles’s again..

Knoll Garden copyright Anne Wareham

But neither of us felt very fond of  trees having a fringe around the bottom like that.

Knoll Garden copyright Anne Wareham

or that sort of arrangement.

There were also flowers, some of our favourites:

Knoll Gardens copyright Anne Wareham

Huzzah for persicaria!

After all that (and more) there were some brilliant succulents on display, making me slightly envious – for example

Kalanchoe thyrsiflora ‘Bronze Sculpture’?

And an excellent nursery:

Nursery at Knoll Gardens copyright Anne Wareham

And just for the record, I really was there:

Anne Wareham portrait copyright Charles Hawes

and here’s the guy behind the whole thing, Neil Lucas, photographed (by Charles) on a previous visit in 2014:

Neil Lucas 2014 copyright Charles Hawes