As it’s all gorn a bit grey and bleah, I’m posting a few images of Abbotsbury Sub-Tropical Gardens.

If you turn the heating up really high and sit on a beach towel underneath your largest pot plant – preferably some kind of palm and not a Christmas cactus –  in the living room with a glass of rum punch decorated with an umbrella, a plastic parrot stirrer (the smaller onefor stirring drinks, not the bigger one for stirring parrots)  and a load of cherries and fruit, you might almost be in a tropical paradise.  Either that, you might be a bit mad.

So Abbotsbury Sub-Tropical Gardens is a “must visit” if you’re anywhere near Weymouth, Portland, Bridport or Lyme Regis in Dorset.  You will find a fantastic array of incredibly healthy, huge trees, lush shrubs and herbaceous stuff.  I won’t attempt to even begin a species list but suffice to say there’s a strong chance you won’t have seen many of these before.

There were a couple of hefty showers when we visited, giving the place an extra-steamy feel.   It extends over 20 acres, but we only had a fairly limited look. One of our party was a learner on a mobility scooter, so we road-tested the “Disabled” route for wheelchairs.

Our learner, who coped well with Weymouth Esplanade thanks to pedestrians scattering as they saw her approach, went a bit wild in the sub-tropicals.  She got all cavalier with her vehicle and just when you really wanted to meander at leisure to smell the flowers – literally – she’d turn the speed dial up to 11 and shoot off.  She got so over-confident, I swear she was leaning into the bends in the path.

It was a job to keep up and the opportunity to take photographs was therefore limited until she came to an enforced halt in the middle of a wet lawn, demonstrating the limitations of the narrowish tyres and the shortcoming of the “disabled” route.  I was able to snap off a whole batch of pics before helping to give her a push out of the mire.

Apart from slewing unexpectedly into a banana tree, which resulted in a severe loss of confidence “It’s not safe on hills. I feel I should put my feet out!” the rest of the circuit was completed without incident and we landed up in a totally fab plant centre which was so full of beautiful, unusual, exquisite plants that it made my mouth water. I don’t know why I get that reaction, but there you are.   I bought as  many plants as I could humanly squash into the car along with the mobility scooter and two other people including a succulent Aeonium Zwartkop with magnificent rosettes of dark red shiny leaves which thrives on – wait for it – not being watered!

The knowledgeable garden centre man assured me “Keep it indoors during the winter but no, don’t water it more than once a month. You’ll know when it needs water because the leaves will look droopy.”

Hey, I’ve found my kind of plant!








NB:  Three glasses of rum punch and I honestly think that tropical paradise thing might be distinctly do-able.

About janh1

Part-time hedonist.
This entry was posted in Coast, Countryside, Current Affairs, Just flowers, Seaside, Watery things and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Sub-tropical

  1. Pseu says:

    What a wonderful place…. now I shall have to go out and buy rum….

  2. valzone says:

    That’s it, I’m there, I’m mesmerised, I’m thirsty, I’m captivated. Fabulous read Jan, you’ve lit a dull, overcast day, and you’ve put a broad grin on my face. Super photos too.

  3. It looks really lush 😀

  4. janh1 says:

    It is! And there’s a nice wooden “colonial” style restaurant/coffee shop with a verandah all around the edge and loads of sitting out space. V well designed!

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