Cookbook author, writer and lover of all things West Country, Christine McFadden will host a talk at Brimsmore Gardens on Thursday 20 July from 10am – 12pm to raise money for Yeovil Community Arts Association. You can expect an inspiring morning from Christine, who has written over fifteen cookbooks and has 25 years’ experience in the industry as she reveals her latest food enthusiams, must-try recipes and passion for Dorset.

Following Christine’s talk, Farm Shop manager, Kate Soan will treat visitors to a Cheese Discovery, where guests will be treated to a tasting session of the area’s award-winning cheeses, which are available in The Apple Tree Farm Shop and Restaurant.

Tickets are £5 and include the talk with Christine McFadden and Cheese Discovery, as well as a special lunch offer in The Apple Tree Restaurant. Advanced booking is essential and tickets can be purchased from The Apple Tree Restaurant and Brimsmore Gardens.

We hope to see you there!


With judging now complete, the Wildlife Friendly Gardening Awards Ceremony is nearly upon us, and we get to celebrate Dorset’s most wildlife friendly gardens once again. This year we have seen a record number of entries from wildlife friendly gardeners, who have all created little havens for birds, bugs and mammals right across the county.

Taking place on Wednesday 19 July from 6:30pm, the Awards Ceremony will not only be a celebration of gardeners doing their bit to invite wildlife into the garden, but we are also lucky to be joined by Kate Bradbury, who will give a fascinating talk on what the natural world has to offer.  There will be plenty of gardening goings on throughout the evening, with a chance to win some great prizes in a charity raffle.

There will be light refreshments in The Walled Garden from 6:30pm before the awards are announced from 7pm. Tickets are £5 each and are available from Briony Baxter on 01305 264620 or at BBaxter@dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk.



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!