Thursday, 8 July 2021

Veddw House Garden

 We left blue skies behind as we headed across the Severn Estuary Bridge and into Wales, seeking a garden that sits high in the hills above the beautiful Wye Valley. The weather had been predicted to be sunny with showers - how wrong that proved to be! The garden is only open to the public for eight afternoon visits per year so regardless of the weather reports we took a chance and went. We were early and parked nearby in the densely wooded forest surrounding the house and garden. We ate our lunch in the car to the drumming sounds of rain beating down on the rooftop. Once the rain stopped and the sun came out, the raindrops twinkled like fairy lights all across the forest. With a break in the weather we took the opportunity to walk along to the garden. 
As we wandered around the garden it rained, but that didn't matter; you see we loved the garden.

The garden is the co-creation of Anne Wareham, garden writer, and her husband Charles Hawes, photographer.
The red Valerians, zingy Euphorbias, and spiky blue grasses create an eye catching combination. 
The garden is about patterns, shapes, colours, drama, sculptural hedges and views.
It is also about history and acknowledgement of those people who have lived and worked here in the past, and about the landscape it sits in and belongs to. It is not so much about plants.  
Zebra grass - Miscanthus sinensis Zebrinus 
Anne and Charles are passionate about gardens, but not about gardening! Anne says "I do not go out weeding in my night clothes. I believe there is more to life than gardening, like reading good books and spending time with friends. So we tolerate weeds - indeed we actively encourage some plants popularly considered weeds".
How many people would consider painting a Welsh cottage black? But look! How brilliantly it works. It's a tour de force, perfectly blending both property and garden together.  
Martagon Lily - Lilium martagon 'Album' - Turk's Cap drenched in rain
These lilies can be found growing wild in parts of this area, and also in the Cotswolds near our home. We too have both the pink and white ones growing in our garden. I love them dearly but so does the naughty little Red Lily Beetle. Martagon lilies always evoke memories for me of seeing them for the first time years ago whilst walking in the Alps. 
Anne says "I am not a great plant collector - my aim is to have the plants play their part in the garden, not play at being prima donnas. But the plant knowledgeable will find some stars". 
Wandering around Veddw is like taking a magical mystery tour - what's around the corner or through the gap in the hedge?
The reflective black pool brings the sky down into the garden.
(and the rain too)

"There are just two of us, part time, with six hours a week help (weather permitting) maintaining the garden". 
"We need time to enjoy it and each other with a glass of wine".

39 comments:

  1. I like the stunning geometric topiary!

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    1. I particularly like the sinuous, wavy, hedge composed out of two different colours of Beech.

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  2. Dearest Rosemary,
    Wow, what a hidden gem this Veddw House Garden is. Had to look up the meaning of the word Veddw and surprising to find the Welsh meaning of 'birch'. The 1569 Vedow even sounds more like Russian...
    But what a surprising garden you encountered. Too bad you had to shelter for the rain during lunch time and still caught some droplets but the colors looked rather vivid and fresh.
    Thanks for always sharing with your readers.
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. Dear Mariette - glad that you enjoyed seeing this gem of a garden. Taking photos whilst also holding an umbrella was not easy, but they turned out better than I could have anticipated.

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    2. You are an excellent photographer! Rain or shine...😉⛱

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  3. Hello Rosemary, What an interesting garden. I love mostly green gardens, and they did an outstanding job with the more wild areas constrasting with the shaped hedges. I also like the way the house is revealed through the plantings.
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - I am pleased that you found this garden interesting - you say that you love mostly green gardens and Veddw definitely fulfils that criteria. The house does cleverly blend in with all of the planting even down to the manicured ivy on the house walls.

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  4. What a lovely garden...I do enjoy panoramas as well as textural and colorful montages.

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    1. It is a very unusual garden in the way that it takes full advantage of being situated in a bowl shaped area which gives the panoramas. The obvious solution to many people would have been to terrace it which they didn't - its a clever design.

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  5. The Turk's caps are so pretty! A new lily to me and can so see from where their name comes. Your lovely photos show no hint of a weed, so their idea of a Weedy Garden must differ somewhat from mine :)

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    1. I admire her philosophy on weeds, but I can assure you that there were plenty of them around. However, many weeds are pretty. For example the red Valarian that I showed here is a weed.

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  6. It's very lovely and I do like the shape of the hedges as they are different.
    Those two are certainly not slaves to their garden - good on them.

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    1. It is important to get the balance right - surely nobody really wants to be bend over a garden all day long.

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  7. That garden looks as though it takes a lot of maintaining - and only 6 hours outside help. I'm impressed.

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    1. Me too - but I think that their philosophy is spot on.

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  8. Thank you for this super write up! Do come again. It doesn’t always rain here. Ps you morphed me into “David” at some point.

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    1. I am very happy that you liked the post - you have now been re-morphed - I hope it wasn't too painful.

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  9. Your photos, taken under an umbrella for part of the time, are beautiful Rosemary. The garden is quite stunning - I just can't imagine keeping a landscape in such geometric perfection with so little assistance, and still have time for wine! I now feel totally useless as a gardener, lol!!!
    Lovely place - you certainly are great at finding them and sharing with us.
    Hugs - Mary

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    1. Dear Mary - this pandemic has made me appreciate more and more the inherent need that we have here to create a garden. But you have it too. If you lived here your pretty garden would be one that people would want to visit and admire.

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  10. Beautiful garden. In certain situations falling rain can be a bonus on a walk and add to the atmosphere of a place and of course the UK would look very different without its frequent abundance keeping everything green and lush.

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    1. We have just had a visit from the Green Thumb people who feed and de-weed our lawn. He says that we now need rain during the next three days or else we shall have to water it ourselves. Here's hoping for rain, there is far too much lawn for us to deal with.

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  11. Such a unique and beautiful garden. What a lot of work it must be for the two of them with part time assistance.

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    1. When you enter through the gate, which is situated high above the garden, it is like stepping into another world.

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  12. Oh year, it is a really lovely garden, and the house looks very appealing too. Those wavy hedges are stunning - I don't think our hedgetrimmer dudes could do that! It all looks so lush and generous, and the pink/blue combination certainly is eye-catching and pretty.

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    1. The wavy hedges, being in two different colours of beech, are really stunning. It is something that I have never ever seen before. We loved it.

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  13. Just Stunning! Thank you for sharing!

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  14. Planting close like this probably also helps keeping the weed away, more time for a cool glass of wine :-)) Wonderful garden with a perfect mix of control and freedom .

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    1. Plenty of the weeds were those that some of us do like, and actually enjoy having in our gardens. I like what you say about a perfect mix of control and freedom.

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  15. What wonderful gardens. Thank you. I always enjoy your blog posts.

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    1. Thank you - I am happy that you enjoyed it.

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  16. Good for you, Rosemary, you could grab such rare opportunity and almost monopolize the gardem. I love a shower followed by sunlight. I like walking in the little rain, too. Your photos show the charm of a wet garden in not-dazzling light. To let some weeds coexist with other plants needs some sort of knowledge, I think. The shapes of hedges aren’t seen in my country.
    Regarding your comment – I agree with you about unforeseen variants. I’m kind of shocked to see the effect of the vaccine would be 6 months. I saw a news that infection number is rapidly increasing in your country. More infection means more chances for the virus to become new variants. We can enjoy our lives while keeping preventive measures. Take care.

    Yoko

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    1. The two tone wavy hedges are a new concept for me too - I think that they are stunning.
      You are right about the rapidly increasing infections here. It seems to be mainly the young who have not been vaccinated yet, and also apparently have no fear of the virus. But it is true, I do worry about what the next variant will be like when it does eventually show its face, which inevitably it will do.

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  17. how very beautiful, you're right, painting the cottage black works - it melts into the background and doesn't overshadow that beautiful garden..

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    1. All the of accessories that they have used tend to have been painted black or terracotta i.e. black fencing, black edging etc which all work really well.

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  18. Dear Rosemary, What an amazing garden! Each and every feature so pleasing. So many scenes so perfect. This is one garden I would love to see in person. Thank you for sharing these gardens and taking such fabulous photos.

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    1. Dear Gina - I know that you would love it too - a little bit of paradise has been created by Anne and Charles, surrounded by a lovely forest and with the beautiful Wye Valley down below.

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