A wander around a Welsh garden (with pictures and cine film footage)

Regular readers will be aware that I often refer to ‘the old ancestral home’ in North Wales that also serves as a free plant nursery. However, pictures have been few and far between. Until now….

The old and somewhat chilly-in-the-winter house has been in the family since the 1950s. A former farm, it was run by a great aunt for nearly 40 years and was home to dairy cows, pigs and a temperamental horse.

A biro sketch of ‘the old ancestral home’

The great aunt retired from farming in the early 1990s, selling the remaining cows (apart from an ancient Jersey named Bron) and set up home in the converted shippen across the yard with her widowed sister-in-law and fellow farmer. My parents purchased the old farm house and garden and moved in with their delightful offspring.

Over the years the garden has been transformed by our mum, with able assistance from our dad. It’s still changing, as all gardens do, with more borders having been added and existing ones extended in recent years, taking up more and more of the big lawn.

There’s still a fair amount of grass for Dad to cut. Once a very large vegetable garden that was rotovated by the great aunts every year, my siblings and I used to play tennis on the lawn during the summer months, especially come Wimbledon fortnight. A lack of court markings and a wobbly chicken wire net made accurate scoring (or challenging a sibling’s dodgy shot) rather tricky, and not quite knowing how the ball would bounce on the uneven surface always kept you on your toes.

This part of the garden used to be a pig shed. The breeze block ruins remain and have been turned into a feature, with the odd little ‘room’ overlooking fields on the other side. The standard Cotoneaster on the right was grown and trained by our Nana and planted here by Mum many moons ago.

The Valerian and Sisyrinchium striatum (or Pigroot, which is rather apt) is doing its spready-softening-the-edges thing while a tall ornamental ‘waftus-about-in-the-breezus’ grass gets on with its wafty-about-in-the-breeze thing.

The border on the other side of the lawn was made a lot deeper a few summers ago. A new Rowan flowered for the first time this year and hopefully there’ll be berries come the autumn.

Another extended border nearby creates a path that leads to an island bed…

…and eventually a wildlife border, complete with tiny pond.

This fragrant Clematis clambers over a nearby wall.

Making your way back from the wildlife border you notice that there are quite a few faces hidden about the garden…

… including this chap.

A new discovery; a Candelabra Primula, possibly the offspring of a pinky red plant and an orange variety found elsewhere in the garden, is growing nearby.

Soon after the big move from town to country my siblings and I helped dig out a fish pond. It’s still full of fish, mostly the great great great grandfry of goldfish from way back when, although passing herons have been known to snack on them from time to time.

This Knautia grows near the pond and last weekend a seedling was acquired for the senior sibling’s garden.

Some of this Woolly Rock Jasmine (Androsace languinosa) may also have found its way into a pot and into the aforementioned senior siblings car.

It grows in a small rockery in what was the original front garden. Head on through the arch and you end up in the veggy garden.

This is the other side of the front garden, and the view from my old bedroom.

The Honeysuckle that grows along the top of the wall is rather ancient. Although not as ancient as some of the roses in this giant border, including this lightly fragrant, multicoloured beauty.

Believed to date back to the 1950s, someone on Twitter has suggested it could be ‘Masquerade,’ introduced in 1949. It certainly looks very similar and the date ties in.

Formerly a rose bed, some old cine film footage from the mid 1960s (featuring the great aunt’s mum; our mum’s nana) doesn’t quite show the corner where this rose grows. All manner of self-seeded loveliness abounds in this part of the garden and it looks almost prairie-like at the moment.

Aquilegias of various hues can be found in full flower…

… including this unusual looking one.

And up in the gravel bed, near the garden gate, is this short Sisyrinchium that I’ve been attempting to grow for years. For reasons unknown mine rarely flowers. Perhaps more sun is required.

And there we are, a wander around the grounds of ‘the old ancestral home.’ I’m hoping it won’t be another 10 months until I get to visit again and that some of the cuttings and seedlings acquired last weekend thrive and provide a permanent reminder of home in my tiny Somerset garden.


26 thoughts on “A wander around a Welsh garden (with pictures and cine film footage)

  1. What a lovely “post”. I do like the grass paths, they draw you along beside the borders all overflowing with colourful plants. Will you have time to do your usual Six-on-Saturday contribution? I hope so.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well that was a nice visit. I do hope we can come again. Your parents have done a fabulous job in the garden and it looks just the kind of place that you could wander around for hours. You must have loved growing up there.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a beautiful garden. I can just imagine the many days and nights spent there, just admiring the view, looking at what’s new and growing well. Like your older sibling, maybe some plants might actually be acquired every visit. Love the colours and the mass variety. A beautiful place to visit often. Lucky lucky you. Thank you for sharing. An enjoyable read. πŸ‘πŸ˜Š

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a beautiful garden, filled with memories and wonderful plants, it has real character. Playing tennis in that way must have really kept you on your toes, or possibly led to terrible rows with your siblings over the scoring!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Gosh you were lucky to grow up here! I can see that it is a great place to plunder cuttings & divisions! ❀ The rose is probably Masquerade rose. I know this because I grew it by cuttings from my own ancestral home, my mum's house in the Adelaide hills! That had a collection of old roses from the 1950's. It was the only rose cutting to survive although it was not my favourite colour, but it really photographs well with its multicoloured blooms.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a lovely rose although not very fragrant from what I remember. My parents moved to a bungalow last summer, although the the great aunt still lives next door to the old place. Sadly some of that section of the garden in front of the house has been dug up by the new owner and turned into a driveway.


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