Celebrating 30 years of Knoll Gardens

This year (2024) Knoll Gardens, near Wimborne, is celebrating 30 years under the ownership of Neil Lucas and his family. They bought the site in 1994 with the ambition of creating a specialist ornamental grass nursery and naturalist garden and over the last three decades have seen the four-acre garden evolve to lead the way in naturalistic gardening.

Knoll is an RHS partner garden and between 2002 and 2011 exhibited at the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Show, each year earning a coveted ‘gold’ medal, with an outstanding 10 in total.

Today, as well as catering to the public and trade, Knoll Gardens nursery also supplies acclaimed gardens such as the Royal Botanic Garden at Kew, RHS Wisley and Rosemoor and the Hillier Aboretum.

Neil’s extensive knowledge of ornamental grasses make him one of the country’s leading experts and his love of these graceful, beautiful, and versatile plants is clearly seen in their use in the gardens design and layout.

Following the principles of naturalistic gardening, significant parts of the gardens have been reshaped over the years, with new zones created such as the dry meadow and rain garden, whilst other spaces have been reimagined, including the replanting of the Dragon Garden in the Prairie Style last year, in anticipation of this year’s anniversary. The 30-year milestone will also be marked with a series of new interpretation boards telling the story of the gardens, and a new website.

Looking ahead Knoll Gardens and Nursery are keen to add more plants to their range and building on their ever-growing knowledge of grasses, and of the relationship between gardens, gardening and the natural environment.

Their newly launched website can be found at: knollgardens.co.uk

Picture credits: Banner, Neil Lucas ©Knoll Gardens; Dragon Garden ©Knoll Gardens; bottom image: Gardens for Wellbeing ©Mirolyuba Sirenko.