Then west up onto the Downs to Worth Matravers where we visited Eastington Farm – a private house and small farm looking south with views of the sea. We were greeted by the owner at the gate and we walked down the drive through a field of cows with their calves and over a cattle grid to a broad gravel drive lined with wide grass verges and a neat row of low fruit trees. Purbeck stone walls were much in evidence again and we walked through from the drive to the house which was fronted by a magnificent ancient ash tree, in the centre of a round lawn with a surrounding turning circle.
In a corner of the drive, a trestle table was laid with tea and coffee, chocolate brownies, toffee chocolate cake, and nut squares. Rachel and Allan James, the owners, were so welcoming and explained some of the history of the house which they took over in 1985, their first task having been to plant trees as wind breaks to the east and west of the house. The garden had evolved, growing and changing to suit the needs of the family with the able help of the gardener Anita who lives in the local village of Worth.
The garden was laid out with rooms surrounded by stone walls. We were shown the gardens, including the vegetable garden with raised beds, the flower-filled orchard and meadows with glorious views across fields filled with sheep. The various separate gardens were full of glorious classic summer English garden planting, nestled between the two huge stands of windbreak trees. The partly paved garden around the swimming pool with its stone pool house was full of roses in full flower and smelling wonderful. Paths were made up of edge laid Purbeck stone between which clouds of erigeron had self seeded.
From one point you could see, to the west, a row of white lighthouse keepers’ cottages on the cliff top, St Aldham’s Church and the radar memorial in the distance. One of the much admired roses was Francis E Lister, a single white blushed to pink rambler with a soft perfume, trimmed to maintain a bushy shape. The following four pictures were all taken here.