Garden visits

Photos from 2019 tour

Margaret Rainford and Kathleen Banks at
The Old Rectory Gardens, Lampeter Valfrey

Gladys Bradshaw, Peter Burrell, Lorraine Gibbs
Hilary Ralphs at Aberglasney Gardens

Bridge at Llwyngarreg

Aberglasney Gardens, south Wales

The destination chosen for this year’s three day tour was south Wales.   

Two nights’ accommodation was arranged at the Dragon Hotel in Swansea and 26 members and friends set off under grey skies and a forecast of rain showers. 

However, by the time we arrived at the National Botanic Garden of Wales in Carmarthenshire, around midday, the skies cleared and the weather remained fine and dry for the remainder of our stay. 

The following day, we visited a two acre private garden surrounding an old rectory.  When the owners bought the property, ten years ago, the house was derelict and the garden completely overgrown.

They now have a successful B&B as they continue to restore the garden which includes many unique trees, some over 300 years old, original Victorian paths as well as a quirky summer house designed and built by the owner.  

We moved on to Colby Woodland Garden which was part of Pembrokeshire’s coal industry until it was purchased by a pharmacist in the 1870s. 

He, and his descendants, transformed it to include herbaceous plants, shrubs and many unusual trees.  

Our last visit of the day was to another private garden where the owners had changed a two acre field into a beautiful garden including a 40 metre border of mixed perennials and shrubs. 

On the third and final day of our tour, we visited Aberglasney which, prior to 1995, was on the brink of collapse as the house was uninhabited, neglected and vandalised. 

The property was rescued with money donated by an American benefactor and opened to the public in 1999.   There are over 10 acres of magnificent gardens and Aberglasney was made famous when it was the subject of BBC TV’s ‘A Garden Lost in Time’.

As often happens on these tours, the gardens we visit are all different and interesting in their own way and the owners are always keen to share them with visitors.

* Photos and report courtesy June Gornall