The Garden of Wales

5Last April, 34 members and friends from Oxfordshire’s Ardley & Fewcott Gardening Club travelled to Cardiff for a three night break focusing on the gardens of South Wales. Jean McGarry, group organiser writes:

“Arriving in Cardiff, we visited the RHS Cardiff Flower Show in Bute Park and also had time to enjoy the park’s tree collection, before making our way to the historic Angel Hotel, where we were welcomed with tea and welsh cakes.

Saturday’s highlight was a visit to Aberglasney House and Gardens, spectacularly set in the beautiful Tywi valley of Carmarthenshire – its restoration was followed by the BBC television series A Garden Lost in Time, where we enjoyed a talk giving us an overview of the house and gardens. Travelling to Dyffryn House and Gardens in the Vale of Glamorgan, we enjoyed its magnificent Edwardian gardens – with spring flowers in full bloom – and the large glasshouse, statuary collection and arboretum featuring trees from all over the world.

That night, we were able to enjoy performances from a local male voice choir and a youth choir from America – fellow guests in the hotel. Their renditions of The Star Spangled Banner, and the Welsh National Anthem were magnificent. This was an absolute unplanned treat, the icing on the cake.

3Sunday’s visit was to the National Botanic Garden of Wales. The Gardens include a nature reserve, a formal garden and Lord Foster’s Great Glasshouse, which houses an international collection of plants. Members who had previously visited, marvelled at how plants had grown and developed over the years.

On our way home on Monday we called at the National Trust owned Tredegar House in Newport. Situated in 90 acres of beautiful gardens and parkland, this delightful red brick house provides an ideal setting for a fantastic day out. We leisurely made our way round and into the house where the staff were very helpful and knew many anecdotes about the former owners, the Morgans. A multi-million pound conservation project beginning with repairs to the roof is in progress.

Thank you to Crusader-Motts Holidays, and to our driver Brian Davis, who recently won a silver award as the country’s second friendliest coach driver!.”