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Our Garden

   

Hand in hand with restoring the derelict buildings of our Welsh longhouse home came the task of creating a garden sympathetic to the landscape and location - bearing in mind we are 800 feet above sea level and receive over 70” rainfall per annum. Inevitably, this work evolved over a long period, but it has become a very special challenge for us and is at last, after 17 years, taking shape and parts of it are beginning to fulfill their potential.

The house and garden are at the centre of an upland smallholding in North Carmarthenshire with a stream and two natural ponds. Much of the land is steeply sloping, and although this gives huge advantages in terms of views, it does mean that sections of the garden have quite steep paths. We were fortunate to inherit many mature trees within the site (Gelli Uchaf roughly translates as 'the upper little grove'), which have allowed us to create several distinct areas of garden and interest in the immediate surroundings of the house. These include:

  

·       A free draining terrace garden

·       A sheltered shrubbery rich in late season nectar source plants

·       A shady ‘amphitheatre’ bed with Hamamelis, Hellebore and Hydrangea

·       A ‘crazy’, mossy croquet lawn, surrounded by shrub/perennial beds

·       A larch based woodland garden

·       A more formal terrace

·       An experimental matrix/permaculture fruit and vegetable garden with over 50 varieties ofapples and pears, which was awarded 2nd prize in the first Daily Telegraph/National Trust/Yorkshire Bank ‘Greener Gardening Ideas’ competition.

·       A new copse area planted for autumnal colour and interest

·       An exhibition of images of garden moths, butterflies and garden inspired artwork

 

   
 

Increasingly we have become interested in exploring the benefits of different flowering plants to attract a diverse insect population within the garden and, as a consequence, more wildlife in general. Much of our planting now involves using such beneficial flowers and we have produced a popular video-based talk, ‘The Botany of Desire’, which we’re happy to show to interested groups to stimulate debate and thought on this subject.

We have a number of varieties of several plant groups including Viburnum, Hydrangea, Rhododendron, Holly, Saxifrage, Buddleia and try to incorporate them in a generally naturalistic planting style. We do not employ any external help within the garden, and follow organic methods wherever we can.

There is only limited space on this website page for images from the garden, but many more pictures and information about the garden and our approach to gardening can be found by clicking on the link below to our garden blog which gives a more in depth feel of what we try to achieve, and what the garden looks like throughout the year.

http://thegardenimpressionists.wordpress.com/

 

The award winning documentary film, 'Epiphany In Translation', made by Julian throughout 2010 was filmed at Gelli Uchaf. (See separate website page for details).

In addition over 90% of the moths and butterflies pictured in our DVD Rom guide to garden moths and butterflies, ‘In a Different Light’, have been found at or within 500 metres of our home, and most have been photographed here. All the plant images in the DVD-ROM and our greetings card images were taken here. (See other website pages for details).

 

In 2010 we were delighted to be accepted into the National Garden Scheme and hope to be able to open under the scheme for many years to come. Due to the limitations of access and parking, we are only able to open by appointment; however we now welcome visitors by prior arrangement throughout the year (if we are around), and the garden has much of interest from February to November.

 

Admission for 2012 is £3.00. Tea/coffee (£1) is available as well as home-made cream teas (£3.00 - please book in advance).

Groups are welcome (minibuses can park at the garden, coaches would need to drop off and park in the village half a mile's walk away)

 

For more information on visiting the garden call us on 01558 685119 or email us at thegardenimpressionists@gmail.com

 

Below are a few of the comments left by visitors to the garden, since we have opened it to the public:

 

‘An oasis of calm and beauty’       NW Brechfa

‘What a beautiful place, so lovely and such magic here’         VW Pontyberem

‘Hard work – beautiful results!’           JB Oregon USA

'Fabulous garden and wonderful welcome! – delightful touches to the garden – paths, steps, and furniture – Many thanks.'     S4C Wedi 3 Film Crew
'An inspirational exhibition and natural garden at home in it's setting'           RL Carmarthenshire
'Beautiful and inspirational - a hidden gem of a garden'           A & M Cilycwm

‘Magic around every corner’      SC Milford Haven