Compton Acres is a large privately owned garden in Poole, Dorset, England. It was founded in 1920 by Thomas William Simpson, an entrepreneur who had become wealthy through the manufacture of margarine. The gardens are a popular tourist attraction.
This splendid formal garden is designed to be enjoyed as a spectacle with water, fountains, statuary, topiary and mass plantings providing seasonal colour.
To one side the addition of the Villa adds greatly to the Italian sense of place. The garden features fantastic statues such as Bacchus in his Domed Temple, the Wrestlers of Herculaneum and the old Venetian bronze lanterns.
The mature pine wood has been developed as a woodland garden with winding pathways and dramatic waterfalls.
Many rhododendrons and camelias thrive here. Shade tolerant shrubs edge the terraces and glades together with woodlanders, including ferns and foxgloves. On the lower paths a series of pools are cunningly constructed to give the impression of a flowing stream.
This is perhaps the largest rock garden in private ownership in England.
It is home to over 300 kinds of plants ranging from mature specimens of slow growing conifers, to a wide variety of "alpines" and hundreds of dwarf spring and summer flowering bulbs.
This is a year round attraction, at its most colourful in early spring.
The plantings are a mixture of many species of heathers. Recent plantings of Southern Hemisphere plants, many not hardy in more inland sites, including the spectacular Acacia pravissima, provide special interest.
Compton Acres' Japanese Garden is recognised as one of the best in Britain.
The Tea House, draped with Japanese wisteria (Wisteria floribunda) and the thatched summerhouse, are constructed to authentic designs while the stone and bronze works of art were imported from Japan in the 1920s. The plants have been chosen with the emphasis on Japanese icons such as the colourful, evergreen Kurume hybrid azaleas, Japanese maples and beautiful Asiatic flowering shrubs.