A member’s garden on the Mawddach

It’s always a risk, when you decide you’re going to open your garden to the Club. Not the gardens – the gardens are always beautiful. But the weather… well, sometimes the weather just doesn’t cooperate. But a good garden is a good garden whatever the weather throws at us – and, after all, we’re gardeners. Weather doesn’t worry us.

Our April garden visit was to a house with one of the most sensational views that we have yet seen:

even if, as you can see, the incoming rain was an interesting feature. Fortunately the house has rather a lovely verandah, so it’s perfectly possible to enjoy the garden whatever the circumstances. But it would have been a shame not to have explored when there are such delights as these to find when you wander into the garden a little:

There are beehives up here, too, incidentally. Bet the honey is delicious!

The present owners have been working on the garden since they moved into the house in 2001, the last really keen gardener having moved out a couple of years earlier. One of their major tasks was terracing the top middle lawns, making access for a tractor mower.

Working to improve the lawns was also important. In addition, some trees were removed and others planted, like these fruit trees:

with, in the background, the view along the Mawddach estuary towards the sea. And there were many other jobs as well, like consolidating a ruined outbuilding, improving access, creating a wood store, working to improve parking – and, of course, planting.

Here’s a small gallery of some of the other delights we found:

Thank you so much for the chance to visit such a lovely garden!


The last garden visit of the year

Two members were brave and opened their gardens after some of the worst ‘summer’ weather for several years. However, despite an inauspicious misty / foggy start to the day, it soon brightened up and became so sunny that everyone visiting the gardens clustered together in the shade after they’d had a look round.

garden one

The two gardens have some similarities, and some major differences. One – this one – is higher than the other and more exposed; the other – below – is much bigger (at about 3 acres, all told) and has extensive planting of trees as well as a stream in one of its three meadows.

Garden two

Meadows are something they both have in common; so are growing vegetables and fruit. Here are some pictures from that lovely sunny afternoon – who knows when there’ll be another like it?

The first garden:

and the second:

Let’s hope we get the good weather back (and preferably without the high winds as well).

Local gardens, June

It’s definitely the garden visiting season – at least, when it stops raining (and even when it doesn’t, for the truly intrepid). Every year some of out members open their own gardens to the Club so we can see what they’ve been up to / steal ideas / have a cup of tea and a slice of homemade cake. This June we visited Guy and Margaret’s garden, normally open under the NGS (we have two NGS gardens in the village), and it was inspiring.

The trees and shrubs are wonderful,


especially this Cornus, which made people stop in their tracks. It is sensational.

But there were lovely things to see everywhere, from particular plants


to the greenhouse and polytunnel, which made those of us who are vegetable gardeners quite envious (let’s not mention the rest of the vegetable gardens… sigh…)


Those of us who share a rabbit problem were especially interested in the preventative measures on display. Peter Rabbit wouldn’t stand much of a chance.

Here’s a collection of photographs – to remind those who went of what can be achieved, to inspire those who didn’t, and to set us all off with ideas for our own gardens. Very many thanks indeed to Guy and Margaret: ten years opening for the NGS.



Garden visiting – for the last time this year

It’s been a strange summer with storms worthy of September, far too much rain and everything running at about three weeks later than normal. But happily our last garden visit of the summer took place on a good day, and the strangely delayed season hadn’t diminished the sheer amount of lovely things to see in either of the gardens we visited. We are so grateful to members who open their gardens – and who also persuade their neighbours to join in!


These gardens were next door to each other, and they were both stunning. The sheer perfection of the lawns in the first one we went round stunned us all – the edging was so meticulous, and they set off the beds beautifully:

lawn perfection

But there was so much to see, we didn’t know quite where to start. Some of us gravitated towards the thriving vegetable patch, others admired the planting. We all asked lots of questions, often the same one – about the edging. How can it be so perfect, so crisp?

And then we moved next door. This garden is bordered by a stream which adds another element,


and here the vegetable patch was definitely a focus – particularly for those of us who enter our own vegetables in the Summer Show, that is. The owner regularly sweeps the board, and we wanted to see how he did it (sabotage was not involved, honestly). But the whole garden was gorgeous and there were some lovely ideas here too, like the hanging baskets on the gate:


Here’s a gallery from the two gardens; just click on an image for a slideshow.

What a lovely way to spend an afternoon, and thank you so much to our hosts. You’ve given us so much to think about!

Garden visiting, April

Last Monday we had a treat – not only was the weather stunning (it seems to have gone backwards since then, and there are reports of snow further north), but we had two lovely gardens to visit, both belonging to members.

They were quite different, though they both had lovely views, with the sea glittering in the distance. First was an established garden, with mature trees, a woodland area and a stream:


and then came a more recent garden, one a bit higher up and which had, only six years ago, been a building site but which now has some lovely planting, a vegetable garden and hens:

veg beds and lawn

The first garden gave us some serious ideas about the value of running water, and made some of us develop a case of gunnera envy. There were also some sweet species tulips, and a lot of the lovely black-leaved violets which some of us grow so successfully (click on an image for a slideshow),

In the second garden, almost everybody stopped immediately by the gate to admire a beautiful, beautiful pasque flower – quite the largest and healthiest some of us had seen for ages (some people missed it, possibly because they arrived by car; many of us walked through the woods between the two gardens instead). And there were other treats:

Plus, there was the extra treat of tea – and cakes!

Many thanks to our members who kindly opened their gardens to us, and allowed us to gain so much inspiration.


Members Garden Visit – Trawsfynedd

Last Saturday a dozen members visited Sue and David Beasley’s garden near Trawsfynedd. Alongside the garden Sue and David also own land which Sue uses for her Shetland ponies. Part of their garden has been given over to highly productive greenhouse and polytunnels where they grow their own vegetables. They also have chickens, ducks and the most beautiful view over the lake and the mountains.

On the day that the garden club visited, the weather was perfect. After coffee, tea and cake we wondered slowly around the garden near the farm-house, before ambling partway up the mountain, which, because sheep have not cropped the grass for 15 years has an interesting array of wildflowers. It was a most enjoyable few hours and big thanks go to Sue and David for sharing their garden and land with us.

I think that the pictures speak for themselves! Click on any image for larger view.

Just a reminder that in 2 weeks time we will be welcoming John Massey MBE VMH to talk to the gardening club. This meeting will be in the Village Hall in Dyffryn. Tickets are free for members and £5.00 for non members. I look forward to seeing you there.

April Members Garden Visit

10 days ago two of our members kindly threw open their gates and allowed the gardening club to peer, poke, and generally wander around their gardens.

The afternoon was a glorious April afternoon, unlike today, as the rain and cold has driven me indoors to catch up with “indoor things”

The first garden we visited was kindly hosted by Gill and Roger Garner. They have been gardening at Bryn Dedwydd for 18 years and the garden has a gentle established air to it and looked delightful in the late spring sunshine. One of the pleasures in this garden was the “rooms” or areas, each with visual treats. One of the things I wanted to take home (apart from the dreaming hare pictured below) was the magnificent climbing hydrangea on the wall of the house. I also enjoyed Gill and Rogers quirky attention to detail in the placement of ornamentation in the garden.

Bryn Dedwydd

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Kate’s garden is a garden I know well – and it was interesting to see it through other members eyes. Kate worked hard in her garden last year, and the new beds she has created are certainly paying dividends this year. The cirsiumrivulareatropurpurm was making its presence felt in the central border. I also enjoyed the camassia in the new chapel border, I was so busy enjoying it, that I forgot to photograph it! At the top of Kates garden is a bench, overlooking the meadow, over the rooftops of the village with a view to the sea and the Llyn peninsular. Here looking out over Kate’s garden and surrounding scenery it was lovely to sit for a while and let all the busyness fade away.  Kate’s garden was also the place where we had that most important part of any garden visit …. tea and cake.

Bryn Horeb

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A big thank you to Gill, Roger and Kate for throwing their gardens open to the members of Dyffryn and Tal y Bont gardening club, we all had a wonderful afternoon.

Our May meeting is a trip to Chirk Castle, on the 12th May 2014. There will be a members garden visit to Sue and David Beasly in Trawsfynedd on the 17th May 2014. Our June meeting will be in the village hall, when we welcome John Massey as our speaker. More information can be found here.