Iris

As a group, early flowering Iris have very different growing requirements to the moisture loving and woodland types we normally grow. They prefer open sunny spots in free draining soil. Generally we grow ours in south facing spots in the ‘Alpinum’ rock garden. Normally they are planted in clumps or closely packed drifts to give the best effect. The bulbs are planted just below the soil surface with a generous covering of gravel over the top. This reduces weeds and helps with drainage, we also find digging plenty of sand into the soil beforehand is a help.Generally these types of…

Horsechestnut

What horse chestnuts best offer gardeners is nice young foliage that is often tinged as red or pink as many an Acer. The foliage is followed by striking flowers, conkers and then good autumn foliage. All these different qualities make them really good garden plants.A particular favourite at Aberglasney is Aesculus wilsonii which has very neat dark green foliage and huge white flowers. A better one for a small garden is Aesculus californica which spreads from the base and generally has no trunk with more flowers, although these are smaller. If you want something for a particularly small garden then…

Roses

In recent years we have done a great deal of work with roses – building a rose arbour and planting a huge rose wall. This has led to us looking at how we can use roses in other areas of the Gardens, primarily by mixing them into other mainly informal displays. Over the years we have found that the more common Tea roses are both hard to grow and use. This is due to the climate at Aberglasney and the type of Gardens we have. As a result we have had to try more unusual or wilder roses which unlike…

Summer Bedding

Every year we combine reliable performers with a few new experimental varieties. We have used different quantities of different varieties to give us different colour blends and heights throughout the display with most of the plants set out informally.We often use pink or white Cosmos and Cleome to give height and colour at the backs of borders with Dahlia ‘Blue Beyou’ which is pink and purple for medium height. We also like Castor oil plants, Ricinus communis ‘Carmencita Pink’ in the main displays, and choose the red form in borders as its leaves are ornamental in appearance and contrast well…

Yew Tunnel

The Yew Tunnel is thought to have been planted by the Dyer Family in the eighteenth century. This glorious fusion of thick tree trunks will live for centuries if looked after properly. Taxus baccata can be old or merely look old – and often defy dating. Experts had been fooled into thinking the half dozen or so that make up Aberglasney’s Yew Tunnel were over 1,000 years old. In 1999 dendrochronology put the trees at just a quarter of that age.The Victorians in particular were fascinated by these strange trees and their magnificent shaping and many visitors to the house…

Kitchen Garden

At Aberglasney we have to pack all our productive plants into the Kitchen Garden, which seems quite big, that is until you start to list all the things you want to grow. We have therefore spent a lot of time working out how to make the most of the space. There are a number of different ways of doing this and despite having technical names most are very simple tasks that just require some planning.The first is crop rotation which simply means not growing the same plant in the same place; this allows you to change your layout throughout the…

Rose Garden

We are lucky at Aberglasney to have huge walls where vigorous plants such as rambling roses or Wisteria can be given the space to go mad. However in certain areas, as is often the case in home gardens, there is not the space for these monsters and careful thought is required in choosing the right spots as well as the right plants.Generally smaller climbing plants are the most practical thing as they are more manageable and more than one type can be planted in a spot. There are some great tricks we’ve used be used to make our rose arbour…

Rose Wall

The inspiration behind this feature came from years of battling overgrown rambling roses in many different gardens. Rambling roses are a type of rose that is often overlooked or shunned as people are quite correctly afraid of its triffid like growth. However they are one of the easiest types to grow if you have the right spot. In our case this is a hundred meter long wall that has been planted with a collection of over thirty different varieties. Many of these will grow three meters a year and each year we prune them severely but carefully to keep them…

Ninfarium

The Ninfarium was completed in 2005 and houses many sub-tropical and exotic plants thanks to a glass atrium having been built above the ruinous central rooms of the mansion.Amongst the most striking plants on display are Gloriosa Superba ‘Climbing Lily’, Phaleonopsis orchids, Aristolochia gigantea ‘Dutchman’s pipe’, Magnolia champaca yellow jade orchid tree, Stephanotis floribunda ‘Madagascar jasmine’ and Musa coccinea ‘Banana’.This award winning garden is an idea derived from the gardens at Ninfa, located at the foot of the Lepini Mountains, south of Rome. There the whole of the medieval village has been imaginatively planted. The gardens at Ninfa were created…

Asiatic Garden

Situated on a small hill near the house, this garden was created in 2004 and offers views down the valley beyond Merlin’s Hill to Carmarthen in the distance. The garden boasts a collection of plants that originate from various parts of Asia including China, Japan, Tibet and Nepal.The plants here have been carefully chosen so that once again there is interest throughout the year. During winter, the appearance of colourful ‘Witch-hazel’ is a highlight, while mid-summer brings with it a stunning collection of Asiatic lilies, known as ‘Toad Lilies’.As well as ‘Witch-hazel’ in bloom during January and February Sciadopitys verticillata…