Early History Established in 1765 by the first Countess of Ilchester as a kitchen garden for her nearby castle. Developed since then into a magnificent 20 acre garden filled with rare and exotic plants from all over the world. Many of these plants were first introductions to this country, discovered by the plant hunting descendants of the Countess. The Garden Today After the great storm of 1990, a major restoration project has been underway. many new exotic and unusual flowers have been introduced to this fabulous Dorset Garden. The Garden is a mixture of formal and informal flowers, world famous for it's Camellia groves and magnolias. Noted in Dorset for its Rhododendron and Hydrangea collections and the charming Victorian Garden. Facilities include the Colonial Restaurant, a quality gift shop and a superb plant centre where many of the flowers grown in the Garden can be purchased. The Colonial Restaurant is also a superb wedding venue and is fully licensed. Regular events take place at the Garden including the floodlighting of the Garden in October. Halloween is a major feature during the floodlighting when thousands of visitors dress in Halloween costumes and the Restaurant becomes a centre for Halloween celebrations. Don't miss stunning views of the Dorset Jurassic Coast from the viewpoint at the top of Magnolia Avenue.