Of course the garden we visited wasn’t really on top of the world, but it certainly felt that way as once more we made our way into the hills of Powys the other side of Welshpool, travelling along narrow single track lanes up steep hills and around sharp bend after sharp bend. It seemed to take ages to get nowhere and the journey did actually take twice as long as we had anticipated. We had to go in Jude’s little car as I had been in hospital the day before having a minor op on my hand so I couldn’t drive. We should have known better and Jude could have driven mine as its more powerful motor wouldn’t have minded the hills so much.
Once we got there however we knew we were in for a treat. Anyone brave enough to tackle the making of a garden in these harsh condition must be a very determined gardener indeed. As we neared our destination we turned up a very narrow lane where the hedges virtually touched the side of the car and we climbed steeply until the lane came to a halt. A gate in the stone wall was open on our right and a sign indicated that this was where we had to park up. On the left another track of rugged slate took us through fields grazed by sheep towards the garden.The gnarled old hedgerow Hawthorns were bowed over and twisted from years of being wind battered on this exposed hillside.
After a steep knee-aching walk across fields we realised we were getting close as the close cropped sheep pastures were replaced by recently planted flower meadows with neatly cut gently winding paths.
After walking the meadow edges we glimpsed the house ahead of us. From this distance it already looked tantalising.
We found it to be a modernised and extended Welsh longhouse with its garden wrapped around it and just as well designed. Coffee and cake were enjoyed in an out building where plants from the garden were for sale. Only a few different plants but very well grown.
As we started to explore the garden it immediately became obvious that an artist was at work here. The planting with carefully selected combinations of texture and colour and scattered artifacts had the feel and look of the artist’s hand and eye at work.
Moving further from the house, closely mown paths enticed us through meadows of white daisies to a curving bench of slate encircling a fire pit and on further to a small but neat productive patch.
Moving back around winding paths towards a pool in the lower part of the garden we found more borders and this metal sculptural bird feeding station. Beyond every border were distant views of hillsides.
The pool and the stream garden running into it was a new venture and still in the early stages of development. We could see such possibility and vowed to return to see developments.
Slate paths through raised beds let us discover further interesting plant combinations. We were impressed in particular by the different Astrantias.
Gardens wrapped around the complex perimeter of the buildings and here more gentle plantings helped root the new building extensions into the land.
As we left the garden behind and anticipated the beauty of the meadows we noticed a green roof under which we must have been seated while enjoying our coffee and cakes. Wandering the close cut grass paths through the meadows was a very gentle way to finish off our visit to this developing garden. We looked forward to returning in the future.