As autumn creeps in slowly I will look back at a holiday week back in mid-summer as a reminder of what a great year we have had.
In June we decided to make the three hour journey across mid-Wales and then down the coast to Cardigan . We had a brilliant varied week marred only by the rain which hovered above us most days. But being gardeners we didn’t let it beat us – we just donned waterproofs and ignored it the best we could. We visited the coast, followed a coastal path, visited Cardigan the town and castle and of course discovered a few beautiful gardens.
On the day that we journeyed down we stopped off towards the end of our journey to explore a garden partnered to the RHS, called Cae Hir. We loved its mix of cultivated plants living happily with wilder cousins, which made for a warm, gentle atmosphere. Being a small garden we had the chance to spend time with the head gardener, who spoke of the achievements of his father setting up the garden from a barren hillside and the challenges ahead for himself as owner/head gardener. We enjoyed several cups of coffee with him accompanied by cakes of course.
Cae Hir Gardens welcomed us with bright grasses and Welsh Poppies, setting the tone for what we were to experience throughout the gardens.
Cae Hir garden is an atmospheric hillside garden full of choice plants and path choices. We enjoyed some special roses which we needed help to identify, one climber being Leo’s Eyes, a deep cerise R. rugosa and a deep red single flowered rose which even the owner could not identify for us.
There were intimate areas where the planting enclosed us but soon after clear green areas opened up before us changing the mood of the garden constantly.
Occasionally a more formal feature surprised us amongst the gentle naturalness prevalent in the rest of the garden, a piece of topiary or a rectangular pool.
The garden was a balance between woodland and open spaces, and its atmosphere was led by the mix of cultivated and wildflowers. We particularly liked the long sweeps of geraniums and a circular garden based on reds and purples.
This lovely garden had one more surprise up its sleeve, awaiting us in an hedged rectangle of garden – a bonsai garden! So our time here was a true box of delights revealing its secrets to us as we explored.