The second garden I visited during my day trip of Monmouthshire was Veddw House Garden, set in the wonderful countryside of the Welsh border above Tintern. 2 acres of ornamental garden were created in 1987 by husband and wife duo Anne Wareham, garden writer, and Charles Hawes, garden photographer.
First view of Veddw
Love this seat
The garden is about patterns, shapes, colours, drama, sculptural hedges and views. It is also about history and acknowledgement of people who have lived and worked here in the past and about the landscape it sits in and belongs to – less about the plants and more about the place.
Anne and Charles are “passionate about gardens but not about gardening” – their quote, not mine! It was refreshing to see plants which most people would consider weeds used to great effect in planting schemes throughout the garden such as rosebay willowherb, Chamerion angustifolium.
North garden area
Anne has a great interest in the history of the local landscape and has incorporated this into the garden design, in particular a large parterre of grasses in a pattern of box hedges based on the local Tithe Map of 1842.
Interesting water feature
This is the first view you get of Veddw, looking down upon the garden with the tops of the hedges mimicking the rolling hills in the surrounding landscape was pretty awe-inspiring. The combination of beech, yew and box hedging added extra depth than if just one species of hedging plant had been used.
Swooping beech hedge
Box topiary mimicking the cardoon heads
An area called “Charles’ Garden” had a mixture of red and grey/silver plants, such as heuchera, cotinus, persicaria and hostas. My favourite detail was how the topiary Buxus sempervirens had been cut in the same shape as the heads of the cardoons, Cynara cardunculus.
A crimson glory vine, Vitis coignetiae, had been left to climb and ramble as it pleased, it was massive! The views of the south garden from the edge of the wood were spectacular, I appreciated the layout of the garden even more when viewed from above.
View of the Wild Garden
The “Wild Garden” was a riot of colour, hardy perennials like Crocosmia and Solidago were mixed with wild flowers like the rosebay willowherb, cow parsley, knapweed, etc. It was a vivid blur of oranges and pinks, the colours seemed even more intense in the sunshine.
The Pool Garden
The “Pool Garden” was the simplest yet most striking area for me. An inky black pool reflected the undulating yew hedges like a perfect mirror, it was the place for reflection in every sense. I’d love to see it on a crisp winter day with just a hint of frost, I bet it looks magical.
It was a small but sensational place, you didn’t have to be a plantsman to be wowed by the garden. I could have wandered round there for the whole day, there was an area for every occasion. I hope to achieve a design similar to Veddw when I find a place of my own, someday. . .