It’s sixty years since we first rented this site from Weymouth Brick & Tile Co., which were part of the Putton Brickworks in Chickerell.
The disused clay-pits had flooded from ground water which created a series of lakes. The site needed clearing in preparation for planting the following year, when expensive water lilies were to be imported from France.
2018 will mark our official 60th Anniversary of growing water lilies here and we hope you can join us in celebrating next summer.
After the wettest winter on record in the UK we have welcomed a fair amount of sunny weather this spring, this has helped to dry the ground, and allow us to catch up on works around the gardens.
The stormy start to the year brought down many mature Willows around the site, these have since been chopped up and made safe, but other than that we escaped any major damage from the high winds. All of this has meant a few areas of the gardens have been opened up and given us the opportunity to replant new trees.
Our lilies are starting to burst into flower one-by-one, and as we move towards the end of May the majority of the collection should be in flower. We have continued collecting more new cultivars over the past year and these will be added to the public displays during the summer.
A date for your diary!
Pond Dipping Sunday 25th to Friday 30th May 2014
Bring the kids along during half-term to see what living things there are hiding beneath the water in our ponds at this pond dipping event.
Many of you have been in touch to say you saw the lovely photos of Bennetts Water Gardens in the national newspapers this week. The captioned photographs were used to illustrate weather related news items and featured one of our members of staff taking time out in the boat on one of our lily ponds.
On Saturday we hosted a 35th Anniversary Open Day for Plant Heritage. Joint custodian of the collection James Bennett gave visitors a guided tour of the gardens and the National Collection of Water Lilies, the largest such collection of its kind in Britain.
“This year marks 55 years for us since the original water lilies were planted here” said Mr Bennett, “it is also 20 years since our collection was first certified by Plant Heritage.”
The National Collections Scheme is administered throughout the UK by Plant Heritage and Dorset holds 14 National Collections of plants at 10 different locations around the County.