Dyffryn Botanic Garden, Glamorgan
Dyffryn is a set of intimate, highly individual gardens, set within 55 acres and overlooked by an Edwardian mansion. Relax and draw your own horticultural inspiration from its yew-lined borders, and imagine the sound of croquet being played on the nearby lawns more than 100 years ago.
Sculpture Garden, Tintern
Take your lawn-surveying hat off to the Wye Valley Sculpture Garden, a two and a half acre plant garden, because it’s spent 40 years as an organic garden in between regular visits from magazine photographers. Mediterranean plants thrive in its climate, and the herb garden has some medicinal soothers to share. This lush setting also features a pond and sculptures by local artist Gemma Wood.
Dewstow Gardens, Monmouthshire
As you might expect, landscapers found quite a lot to work to do at Dewstow Gardens when these Edwardian gardens– buried under tons of soil after World War II – were rediscovered in 2000. Ponds, rills, a labyrinth of grottoes, ferneries and rock gardens now dot the seven-acre haven, transformed by an extensive restoration campaign.
Llanover House Garden, Abergavenny
A spectacular 15 acre private garden imaginatively landscaped and skilfully planted by seven generations of the same family. Ponds, streams, bridges, lawns and flower beds give Llanover a joyful sense of adventure. The Black Welsh Mountain sheep introduced by Lady Llanover in the nineteenth century, continue to peacefully graze the parkland.
Fonmon Estate Garden, Barry
If the trees could speak, they’d have a tale or two to tell in the shadow of Fonmon Castle, which dates from 1200. And the gardens surrounding these old timbers aren’t bad either – the lawns are perfect for daydreaming rather than battling these days, complementing pristine beds and hedges.
Gnoll Estate, Neath
You’ve got 240 acres of land to pick from on the Gnoll Estate, but perhaps the cascades and grottoes are the bits to really look out for. The cascades provide huge columns of tumbling water, flanked by plants, trees, shrubs and wildlife. The grotto was buried under a landslide during the 18th century.
Belle Vue Park Gardens, Newport
Victoriana is rarely manifested as exquisitely as it is here. Lord Tredegar designed Belle Vue with a whole host of rockeries, bandstands, pavilions, streams, waterways, trees and more before he donated it more than a century ago. Magnolia blooms and autumnal splendour mark its changing seasons, accompanied by Victorian ironworks.
Tredegar House, Newport
We could mention the 17th century mansion, Tredegar House, owned by a hugely powerful family for 500 years, at the heart of this historic place. But for garden lovers, the three formal spaces – an orchard, an orangery and a cedar garden – are full of character, summoning that history within 90 parkland acres.
Veddw House Garden, Devauden
Acclaimed garden designer Anne Wareham shaped Veddw House Garden with history in mind – one large parterre, for example, is based on a local map from 1842. The curvy hedges and planting schemes aim to reflect the rolling hills they lie in the shadow of, leading to a pool adored by visitors.