Visit some of the finest gardens in Wales
Six of Pembrokeshire's Most Glorious Gardens
Visiting gardens is something of a national pastime in the UK, even if you don’t know a dianthus from a dandelion. Come to Pembrokeshire and you certainly won’t lack for beautiful gardens to visit and enjoy.
From country parks with lots for the whole family to do to (besides admire the planting, of course) to garden gems guaranteed to make the Gardeners World crowd swoon, Pembrokeshire gardens do not disappoint. Here are just a handful to start you on your garden tour of the county.
Dyffryn Fernant is a founder member of the Great Gardens of West Wales initiative, seven special gardens which are among the treasures of the region. And there is lots to treasure here for lovers of plants and gardening.
This innovative and exciting garden is a true labour of love, first created by the owners from six acres of wilderness back in 1996. It now features a wide range of planting areas, including a bog garden, orchard, azalea bank, ornamental grass field and a fernery.
If you would like to spend more time in this enchanting garden, you can rent the self catering holiday cottage that sits at its centre.
Just five miles north of Haverfordwest you’ll find Scolton Manor and Country Park. Set in 60 acres of park and woodland it offers a great day out, with something for everyone to enjoy.
Explore life upstairs and downstairs in the Grade II listed Victorian manor house; watch bees and beekeepers at work (from behind a bee-proof fence); visit Margaret, a beautifully restored steam engine; send the kids to the pirate play ship while you sit down to homemade cake in the tea room.
The jewel in Scolton’s crown, however, must be the charming walled garden. A window into a traditional Victorian flower, fruit and vegetable garden, this restored garden, complete with Pineapple House and trailing vines, is part of the One Historic Garden scheme linking heritage, gardens and opportunities across South Wales.
Colby Woodland Garden
Set in a quiet valley on the coast, close to Amroth, this National Trust garden is a delight. So it’s all the more amazing to discover that the site was once a working coalfield. In fact, you can see the closed-off mine entrances as you wander the woodland trails among the hydrangeas and rhododendrons, and follow the old mine track that leads to the beach.
Picnic in the wildflower meadow with its stream and wildlife ponds, admire the tallest Japanese Redwood in the UK or sit in the Summerhouse overlooking the sea.
Whenever you visit – in Spring, with its carpet of bluebells, through to the Autumn, with striking colours of the acers and dogwoods – Colby Woodland Garden is a visual treat.
Part of the Stackpole Estate, this walled garden provides a fascinating glimpse into the past when food was grown for the table of the now-demolished big house. See the melon forcing pits, old glass houses and the ‘hot’ wall which protected fruit trees from frost, once heated by the underground boiler room.
Today it’s not servants, but adults with learning disabilities who grow the plants and fresh fruit and vegetables which you can buy in the garden shop. And the boiler room is now home to several species of bat and is designated a site of special scientific interest.
The garden also includes a wildflower meadow with a willow arch where you can sit in the shade and enjoy a moment of peace (or rest your feet), plus a secret garden.
Picton Castle is considered to be the finest stately home in Wales and its 60 acres of woodland gardens and grounds certainly add to its reputation.
The recently restored walled garden takes you back in time to the days when the great houses fed themselves (thanks to a veritable army of gardeners and groundsmen). It boasts newly planted flower beds, restored cold frames and heritage greenhouse, plus a Head Gardener’s office and bothy (cottage) The potting sheds are now home to a fernery.
Picton is also home to a Welsh Owl Garden and Zoo and an impressive collection of antique and vintage lawnmowers.
Visitors are welcome to picnic in the grounds (the on-site Picnic Box can supply you with everything you need). Or eat at the bistro style Marie@Picton next door.
A must-see for gardening enthusiasts, this 35 acre garden is home to an arboretum of rare, non-native trees and shrubs and a listed historic walled garden, which still supplies the family who live in the castle – and you, if you decide to eat at the café. There are also a number of woodland walks, bordering the Cleddau estuary, past the remains of medieval fishponds and 500 year old oaks and ashes.
Also within the gardens is a colourful herbaceous border, wildflower meadow and a rose garden, first planted in the 1920s, which is now being replanted with David Austin roses, plus a collection of driftwood sculptures made by internationally renowned artist and Chelsea winner, James Doran Webb. And don’t forget to visit the 12th century chapel which featured on an episode of Time Team.