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This must surely have been my last National Gardens Scheme visit of the season. It took me south, just over the Somerset/Dorset border to a village called Ryme Intrinseca, and this working farm. “Ryme Intrinseca is generally regarded as one of the most interesting of all village names in the County of Dorset, and was so regarded by John Betjeman in his poem, ‘Dorset'” (source and further explanation here.) It was a chilly and overcast day, but I was well wrapped up, including gloves, and I really enjoyed my autumn stroll.

I drove past the farmhouse,

and into its yard to park. At the front of the house I took a plasticised map, with a few words on the back:

As can be seen, the late Mrs Earle loved oaks – Quercus

Having taken a quick photo of the formal garden, to which I would return, my route was via the vegetable garden to the long thin wooded area, back through the vegetables and round the garden, then into the orchard at the north-east of the plot. I crossed behind the farm buildings to the stables, then into the wild garden and wooded area, finishing in the paddock.

I have only recently discovered this variety of kale, since lockdown having it (and other fruit and veg) delivered regularly by a local organic farm.
The ancient Bramley mentioned in the notes
An interesting use of ?ancient roof tiles.
Ivy-leaved cyclamen
Each significant tree had its own label
Looking up at autumn
I have been delighted to find that the app I am obliged to have on my phone to act as a season ticket to The Newt in Somerset (search other posts) helps me to identify plants I don’t know – this an Oak-leaved hydrangea.
Many opportunities to sit down in Mrs Earle’s garden
There is no doubt an interesting history to this gentleman, but there was no-one around to ask at the end of my visit.

A tiny plaque on top of this sculpture, inscribed “JME 1936-2007”, says it all.

Cork oak bark

Moving back into the vegetables on the way back to the formal garden there are other delights:

A sculpture by Nature, fungus welded by her into the rotting wood
The combination of green, yellow and mauve is unbeatable.
Peach, yellow and green’s not bad.
And yellow and green tumbling down a weathered wall is wonderful.

Eventually, one is back in the lawned area in front of the house.

Wherever you were, if you looked beyond the map, there were fields. I was taken by this stand of trees in the near distance.
In the flower borders, this fuchsia flourished
This bee just didn’t want to co-operate in having its photo taken on the scabious. But I have learnt a new word recently, describing the blurring in the background of close-up photos. It’s called ‘bokeh’.
My app identifies this as echinacea.
Obviously I’m in the orchard now. Did ever you see such a red apple? I suspect Sleeping Beauty’s stepmother!

There were not just apple trees in the orchard.

It is this plant which led me to first try the app, called Candide (and is free). It identifies this as Harlequin Glorybower, Clerodendrum trichotomum
To get to the other side of the drive, I cut though the yard behind the farm buildings. I stood beside this wheel. The tyre reaches to the top of my head – and I’m tall.
Stable buildings
From the wild wood.
Every good forest has a ring around a fireplace. The earth was so well trodden in this area that I wondered whether a forest school is held here on a regular basis in normal times.
And charcoal burning?

Now into what is called the Paddock.

The app couldn’t handle this one.

Emerging out on to the drive once more, I was pleased to see what is presumably the 250-year-old oak.

Someone with clearly a good knowledge of horticulture visited under the NGS scheme on a sunny day in March 2019 (that other era). Her blog is here.