garden design garden furniture garden photography garden seating gardening gardens open to the public National Trust Powis Powys The National Trust

Are You Sitting Comfortably – 15

Another of the lost garden seat posts – no 15!

This is my 15th post in this occasional series dedicated to the humble garden seat, a garden feature I am fascinated by, by the huge variety of designs, by the large number there are around and by how varied they are in comfort level!

This first selection are all at Powys Castle close to Welshpool. What a variety!


I am ready now to search for another fascinating collection of seats to try out in the gardens we plan to visit. See you with Collection 16!


architecture garden design garden photography gardens gardens open to the public The National Trust

Garden Walls and Steps – part 4 of a very occasional series

Back again with another selection of photos sharing with you interesting walls and steps we have discovered during our garden visiting adventures.

Let us start at Powys Castle near Welshpool in the Welsh county of Powys, which is built on such a steeply sloping site that there is the need for many steps to get from one terrace to another or simply to move to the lower gardens.

The first photo shows a flight of curved stone steps below the castle itself, while the second shows plants growing against the sandstone walls at the base of the castle. The next shot shows salvias growing in pots in recesses in the lower redbrick walls below the castle.


Theses beautiful and huge sculpted yew hedges hug the walls. Flights of stone steps drop down from terrace to terrace. Piers finish off the ends of walls and steps and these are richly planted, adding great interest and colour as you leave and enter stairways. Sometimes the walls at the base of the castle are simply are simply sculpted natural stone outcrops, which provide fine backdrops for flowers of any colour.


Balustrades top the stone walls of each terrace and beautiful planters provide perfect finishing touches to the tops and bottoms of each flight of stone steps.


The steps down to the lower garden can be steep and narrow.


Three very differently built steps at Powys in parts of the garden with equally differing characters.


The gardens at Cholmondeley Castle in Cheshire are on much gentler sloping ground s the steps are gentle and softer on the eye. The walls are generally sympathetically planted to give them a much softer look. The steps here are much gentler to walk up as they are so shallow and often sinuously curved.



autumn autumn colours colours garden design garden paths garden photography gardening gardens gardens open to the public National Trust ornamental trees and shrubs Powis Powys The National Trust trees Wales woodland

A Visit to the Wonderful Gardens of Powys Castle – Part3

Back over the border just half an hour away in Wales we return for part 3 of our visit to the gardens of Powys Castle. We have looked at its upper terraces and the beautiful late summer, early autumn flowering plants, so now we will wander down to the lower garden and have a look at its famous ancient yew hedges as we descend and finally we will wander along the lower terrace and search for autumn colours in the trees and shrubs there.

The ancient yew hedge is cloud pruned and runs either side of the path down to the lower garden. It towers above us and makes us feel so small. At times we have to go through it in cutaway arches.


Once in the lower garden, paths move off in different directions and the yew hedge is much more formally presented and at times much smaller.


Archways and windows are cut through the hedge to give views of other parts of the garden or to provide ways into other areas.


The lower gardens are flat and consist of formal lawns and borders and orchards.


From the lower garden we found a woodland edge path to follow to make our way back to the lower terrace. The view back to the castle and terraces was a beautiful sight.


Alongside the path we were treated to a few woodland specialities as we made our way below the castle itself and soon met up with the lower terrace as the path did a sharp turn. Autumn leaf colours gave the impression of an impressionist painting in yellows, oranges and reds. The gardeners had pruned the trees and shrubs to expose the beauty of the trunks, their shapes, colours and textures.


Perhaps next time we visit these great gardens we will do so in the spring when the daffodil meadow is in full flow.


autumn autumn colours colours garden design garden photography gardening gardens gardens open to the public half-hardy perennials hardy perennials National Trust photography Powis Powys The National Trust

A Visit to the Wonderful Gardens of Powys Castle – Part 2

Welcome back to Powys Castle gardens. In part 2 I will take you on a journey along the upper terraces, and in part 3 I will look at the lower gardens.

The top terrace features perennials and shrubs that give of their best in late summer into early autumn. Some are difficult to grow and several are half-hardy but the special conditions here allow then to flourish. To see them growing so well and looking so happy certainly encouraged us to try more such plants at home. We have lots of succulents and Salvias already but we are always up for a challenge!

First we shall have a look at views along the borders and looking out over the terraces. Powys is renown for its ancient sculpted yew hedging which appears now and again as we walked the terraces. Sculpted figures stand atop the stone balustrades in places overlooking the views.


As well as the beauty of the long views of the terrace borders there were many individual that shone out as special. Enjoy my gallery of plant portraits. As usual click on the first pic and navigate with the arrows.

In part 3 of these posts about Powys Castle we will have a look at the yew hedges and the Lower Garden.