Following last month’s fundraising activities, team members from Castle Gardens and Brimsmore Gardens were delighted to present Yeovil Hospital Charity with their donation, which will go towards improving hospital facilities and the Cancer Ward. In total, the team raised a staggering £3,803.28 by taking part in a toe-curling 100ft abseil down Yeovil Hospital and by holding a silent auction in the garden centre.

We’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who donated and to all those who came to show their support on fundraising days. I’d also like to say a big well done to all the team members for overcoming their fears and getting stuck in to raise so much for a fantastic cause.

We have lots more fundraising events coming up this summer at Castle Gardens, so be sure to keep an eye out for details on how you can get involved.



Gardeners of all ages are welcome to join in the buzz about bees at Brimsmore Gardens on Saturday 24 June from 1pm – 5pm and delve into the incredible world of bees and beekeeping. The free family event will see the Somerset Beekeepers’ Association take visitors on a tour of a live demonstration hive, while explaining the different roles each bee has and how the honey is produced. Bees are extremely important to our environment, so please come along and taking part in some fun bee-themed activities while learning all about how we can do our bit to keep them busy.


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(L-R) Clive Wakely from AJ Wakely and Sons Ltd, Louise Burks, director of The Gardens Group and Mike Burks, managing director of The Gardens Group

Working with the local community is part of daily life at The Gardens Group, and something that everyone who works here embraces, so it was a real honour to receive an Outstanding Contribution Award at the Western Gazette Business Awards on Thursday evening!


Louise and I had no idea that we were up for this award, but we are of course delighted to receive it, especially in the year that Brimsmore celebrates its 25th anniversary and Castle Gardens celebrates its 30th. The Gardens Group was recognised for its long standing and considerable contribution to the Dorset and Somerset business community over the past 30 years, and we were selected by the judges for our “willingness to give time for the cause of the business and others in the community.”


Awards are always a real boost and a good opportunity to remind us about the importance of local businesses supporting each other to ensure that communities thrive. Working in partnership with all types of community groups helps us to forge stronger, healthier ties, and we believe that this ultimately benefits of everyone.




Summer is just around the corner, and we’ve got heaps of fantastic events at each of our garden centres all summer long. Kicking off later this month, don’t miss A Buzz About Bees Day at Brimsmore Gardens on Saturday 24 June, for the chance to make a buzz and learn all about bees with Somerset Bee Keepers’ Association. Join us next month at Castle Gardens on Saturday 22 – Sunday 23 July, for a weekend of music, where Sherborne Town Band will be performing, as well as buskers in the walled garden and around the garden centre.

Later in the summer, we’ve got a whole host of free activities at Brimsmore Gardens guaranteed to keep the children and ‘big kids’ entertained. Don’t miss the creepy crawly fun at Bugfest on Tuesday 8 August or an opportunity to get up close and personal to magnificent birds of prey with Sharandy’s Birds of Prey on Saturday 12 August. The wildlife fun continues over at Poundbury with Hedgehog Day, an entire day dedicated to our prickly friends to raise awareness and funds for Hayley’s Hedgehog Rescue on Saturday 19 August. Finally, what better way to round the holidays off than with Children’s Summer Gardening Day on Thursday 17 August at Poundbury, where we will have bulbs to plant and pots to fill, topped off with a summer BBQ on Saturday 22 August, where everyone is welcome to join the feast of fresh ingredients from the local area.

For more information on what’s on at our gardens centres this summer, click here.



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Last Sunday, team members from Castle Gardens and Brimsmore gardens defeated a terrifying 100ft abseil down Yeovil Hospital Charity to raise money for the hospital’s Cancer Ward.

The team didn’t let their fears overcome them, as they all completed the challenge and raised just over £3800 for the charity, which is a cause very personal to all members of the team. As well as this, the team at Brimsmore also held a silent auction for a three-tier container plant, where highest bidder Jane Simpson, donated a whopping £110 to the charity.

We would like to say a massive thank you to all who donated and came to show their support on the day, and we are so proud of the magnificent effort from our team, raising money for a fantastic cause – well done everyone!


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This morning we were given the wonderful news that Plankbridge received a four-star award for its wildlife friendly tradestand exhibit at RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The beautiful Victorian-inspired shepherd’s hut, which was lovingly built in Piddlehinton, is surrounded with some of the season’s best pollinator-friendly plants, including Foxgloves, Bugloss and Primula beesiana, which Nicky and the team have been carefully nurturing in the polytunnels at Castle Gardens.

Wildlife friendly gardening is something that we love to champion and encourage gardeners of all ages to embrace, so we jumped at the chance to help Plankbridge create this wildlife friendly space alongside the Dorset Wildlife Trust Forest School, who built two bug hotels for the exhibit. We wish Richard and Jane all the best for the rest of the week and hope that their efforts will inspire visitors to think about wildlife when they are planning their gardens.

The Plankbridge Wildlife Watch shepherd’s hut will be on display at Tradestand AR586 from Tuesday 23 – Saturday 27 May 2017.


At the beginning of spring, I planted a variety of potted plants to document the progress and demonstrate just how easy they are to grow. Just one month ago, the bulbs were only just beginning to sprout shoots but they’re now blooming. Although due to the late frosts, they’re still inside but they should hopefully be ready to go out next week. Unlike the bulbs, the mixed pots are flourishing outside and have developed bright coloured flowers. All pots are growing nicely in time for summer and with the weather improving, they will only get better and more striking.