Knoll Gardens
Knoll Gardens
Knoll Gardens, near Wimborne, is a 4-acre garden in a naturalistic style, known for its array of ornamental grasses. Enjoy a profusion of flowering perennials in this year-round garden, carefully planted to encourage wildlife and a natural environment where over 6000 named species of plants thrive.

You can simply enjoy the gardens as a peaceful place to relax or get inspired to create your naturalistic garden. Many of the plants you see are available in the nursery, proud recipient of a Gold Award at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show. Volunteer guides offer gardening expertise most Friday mornings and there are a range of special events throughout the year.

Knoll is based around a huge collection of grasses and flowering perennials. The grasses are the real highlight, but there is much more to see, including rare and unusual shrubs and trees, and striking Eucalyptus. Though the ornamental grasses understandably get most of the attention at Knoll, the garden also features unusual trees and shrubs.

The man most responsible for developing Knoll is Neil Lucas, who has worked here for over 20 years. Lucas is a recognised authority on ornamental grasses, and the garden shows that expertise. The gardens are very much a 'natural' environment, with grasses carefully planted to create a garden that is low-maintenance, friendly to wildlife, and affordable to implement yourself, should be inspired by what you see!

The Long Walk
The Long Walk

The best time of year to see Knoll is during the Autumn, but there is interest all year long, with dramatic displays of colour in every season. A Mediterranean style gravel garden has gained national attention in gardening publications, and the mini arboretum offers year-round colour through trees like Willow oak, silver maple, eucalyptus, and ginkgo biloba. An Australian snowdrop tree gives early spring colour, and spindle berries provide a splash of bright reds and pinks later in the year.

A Bit of History

The garden was begun by John and Enid May in the 1970s. The Mays successfully raised hybrid plants and even incorporated an old aeroplane as a garden feature! Later owners Kevin and Sally Martin extended the garden and built a formal garden area and water features.

Since 1994 the garden has been run by Neil Lucas who has developed the naturalistic style that is Knoll's trademark. The latest iteration of the garden also introduced many unusual and rare plants; also a feature of this nationally recognised garden.

Practical Information

The four-acre garden sits alongside a specialist nursery selling grasses and flowering perennials. Self-serve drinks are available. There is plenty of car parking. Picnickers are requested to use the car park rather than the gardens. The gardens are accessible for wheelchair-users, but you will need a helper.