Veddw - an undulating eye opener in Wales!
Veddw is a truly remarkable garden. On the slopes of the Tintern Valley in Monmouthshire this is the charming child of gifted gardeners Anne Wareham and Charles Hawes who have created an extraordinary landscape out of the land around their home. It's like a scene from Alice in Wonderland and I kept expecting the Mad Hatter to arrive at any moment!! Marvellous planting; clever use of structure and colour; tantalising vistas over the undulating hedges; and a photographic heaven are all hallmarks of this wonderful garden.
It is glances of the areas within - like the Meadow (above) - that are notable features of this garden, which is divided by immaculately clipped hedges, revealing a series of magical garden rooms like the Cornfield Garden (below) once you venture inside them. I can't even imagine how many hours it takes to keep the hedges so perfectly trimmed, but they're a vital ingredient of this extraordinary garden, which flows like river, down the hillside.
Anne's special Cornfield Garden garden is particularly striking, with its boxed hedge enclosures, hand painted black enclosing rails, adorned with all the plant names and hand-made brick paths. She tried to grow weeds here once, but failed dismally because they wouldn't grow to order. But be warned, this is not a garden for the feint hearted .... it doesn't fit the norm and you won't find immaculately tended herbaceous borders or stretches of striped lawn. This is a garden that will really make you think!
Veddw is all about colour, shape and form and is well worth making a detour for if you are anywhere near the Severn Bridge - it certainly ranks as one of the top gardens I've seen yet, and I shall definitely be going back next time I'm within 50 miles of it. You will see that I have also allowed the pictures here to tell the story, rather than describing the garden in detail. The Veddw website has a full garden description with Charles' photographs. I'm really glad I visited because this is one of the gardens that has been on my wishlist for more than a year and it certainly sails into my "Top Ten List" at the end of my first year of blogging.
Save the wonderful contemplation pool (above) till last and you will be able to reflect on your visit to this amazing garden. Veddw is open on Sundays from 2.00 - 5.00, but check the website for full details and prices. This is definitely a garden worth making a detour for and a reason to be in Wales on a Sunday.
Anne has written a book about creating the garden at Veddw, with photographs by her husband, Charles. "The Bad Tempered Gardener", published by Frances Lincoln, is an extremely good read and covers a lot more than the garden!