GARDENS OF THE WELSH BORDERS
Herefordshire & the Welsh Marches
The mountains and moorlands straddling the borders of England and Wales are carved up by wooded river valleys, verdant farmlands, and a surprisingly rich vein of outstanding private gardens. The tour is based at Gliffaes Country House, a small luxury hotel on the banks of the River Usk, surrounded by beautiful, mature grounds, where you can expect excellent food. This tour is also a wonderful opportunity to meet some key designers and garden writers on their home patch and to explore an array of exceptional gardens.
Day 1: Monday 26th June
This tour starts at Bristol Parkway Railway Station at 12:15 to take advantage of the London Paddington train service. We journey together to High Glanau Manor, one of the finest and best-preserved Arts & Crafts houses and gardens in Wales. Hilary & Helena Gerrish will welcome us to their home and garden with a special invitation to a delicious lunch. We next visit Brockhampton Cottage, a memorable private garden made by innovative designer Tom Stuart Smith for Peter Clay, owner of the online garden nursery, Crocus. We then check in at Gliffaes Country House for a warm welcome with time to settle in before an evening meal together.
Day 2: Tuesday 27th June
We start the day with an exclusive visit to a very private garden on the borders followed by free time for lunch in Hay on Wye. In the afternoon, we visit Westonbury Mill Water Gardens. Richard Pim worked as a hydro-geologist in arid countries, retiring to create a tranquil water garden full of delights, including the world’s only water powered cuckoo clock.
Day 3: Wednesday 28th June
Driving up the borders, we visit Ashley Farm, home of Roger & Jackie Pietroni, to see the abundant garden surrounding their 16th century farmhouse. Not far away is Bryansground, a fine country garden created by David Wheeler, owner and editor of the British garden journal, HORTUS, and Simon Dorrell, artist and garden designer, where we are invited to lunch. We then tour Rhodds Farm with owner & designer Cary Goode, a beautiful garden with well-planted mixed borders and a striking, red-hot, double herbaceous border leading to woodland and wonderful views.
Day 4: Thursday 29th June
We start the day at Allt-y-Bela to see view work of designer Arne Maynard on his home patch, before visiting Llanover House, home of Elizabeth Murray. We are invited to lunch on the terrace before discovering the garden she is passionately developing. In the afternoon, we travel up into the hills to New Inn Farm, Stephen’s own garden, to see his work that stretches out into the woods. Stephen’s neighbours, anthropologist Jeremy Swift, and editor, Camilla Swift, have invited us to visit their garden. The Pant starts simply around the house as a series of terraces with Persian and Italian influences flowing out to the ‘wild woods’. We are invited to drinks and a harp recital in the green theatre before returning for a final dinner together at Gliffaes.
Day 5: Friday 30th June
Our final day features special visit to The Laskett, a fascinating formal garden created by Sir Roy Strong and his late wife Julia Oman, and encoded with the story of their lives. After lunch in a local inn, we return to Bristol Parkway Railway Station for 16:00.
The price per person: £2,280