Delightful gardens set among thickly wooded slopes overlooking the Milford Haven waterway, in a tranquil, little-known corner of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. The gardens surround a fine medieval castle, which is still a private residence. The castle's extensive grounds are open to the public, and include: footpaths through 35 acres of mature woodland, with more than 250 different species of trees and shrubs, formal terraces with rose gardens and herbaceous borders, Lovers Lane leading to a tidal creek and the shores of the Carew river, medieval chapel with family memorials from the 13th to the 20th centuries, picnic site with tables and benches.
SPRING is heralded at Upton Castle Gardens by the flowering of the magnificent 40ft Magnolia Campbelli planted in 1937. Snowdrops, daffodils and narcissi abound and the many camellias, rhododendrons and rare magnolias which are a special feature of these gardens at this time of year are a riot of colour.
The unusually large Handkerchief Tree (Davidia involucrata) and the ancient wisteria can be seen in early summer. At this time too, the bluebells make a magnificent show in the woods. The tranquil rose garden and the long herbaceous border are at their best a little later on and both maintain colour and interest for a long period. . Other flowering trees and shrubs including theLiriodendron, Crinodendron and Eucryphia also flower in this season.
The Hydrangeas continue with their welcome splash of colour in early autumn while the Acers and other ornamental trees take over later on with their glowing autumnal hues.
There is plenty of interest even in the depth of winter. The first Rhododendron starts to flower in late November and Drymis winterii, Parrotia persica and Hammamilla mollis show their flowers early in January through to February.