A THEATRE company is searching for a secret garden in Poole that was the inspiration for an outdoor performance. 

Dorset-based theatre company Valise Noire has begun a search for the green area after it inspired a new outdoor installation and performance called WonderDomes.

Based on a painting by prolific botanical artist adventurer, Marianne North, titled The Giant and Other Lilies in Dr Allman’s Garden at Parkstone, Dorset, the company hopes to find the garden in question. 

Valise Noire's artistic director, Michele O'Brien, said: “It’s an incredible painting, but the location of the original garden is a total mystery. In search of clues we visited Kew and discovered so much about Marianne North. 

“She was a remarkable woman who travelled to 15 countries in 14 years and left a legacy of 486 paintings. She had four plants named after her and through her work came into contact with Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace, who lived in Broadstone.”

Painted in the 1880s, the painting is currently held in a collection at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew. 

Although not yet found, Valise Noir hope that by calling to residents, they might be able to find the mystical garden. 

Michele said: "Marianne inspire us as she was writing to Darwin saying she was worried about how she observing the world and how it was changing so rapidly, which hit home that 200 years ago there was a woman concerned about how we use the natural world."

Described as an inspired outdoor performance and installation, it highlights the importance of nature and threat of planet extinction while addressing imperialist practices and exploitation of indigenous land and people. 

The play debuted at Bournemouth Arts By the Sea last summer and is due to hit the stage again on April 12 at Walford Mill, Wimborne, and on April 13 at Durlston Castle, Swanage.

It has been supported by a generous grant from Dorset Council's Community and Culture Project Fund.

Anyone who might have information regarding the location of Dr Allman's garden is asked to contact Valise Noire at valisenoire@gmail.com.