Aberglasney Garden in the Tywi valley of Carmarthenshire is rapidly becoming my favorite garden to visit. I first visited in October 2014 and was bowled over by the brilliant plant combinations and formal and informal elements of the design.
Take this wall: clothed in virginia creeper, for example, perfectly complemented by the deep red dahlias in the foreground bedding scheme.
or the perfect placing of this architectural honey bush, Melianthus major, at the left side of the entrance to the walled garden.
It is often said that good planting structure is best illustrated in black and white photography but the same may be said of a winter garden. If structure works well in the depths of winter when the garden is stripped of its perennials and deciduous leaves, chances are this structure will uphold well throughout the year. So it was with great excitement I had the chance to visit Aberglasney again on a frosty day in late December recently. I was not disappointed!
The yew cones in the walled garden: while in autumn they provide a supporting structure and rhythm to the flurry of late perennials, in winter they are exposed to reveal their majestic essence and purpose.
Frosted ferns provide foreground interest while the eye is led along a brook into the elegant trees beyond.
Here the flamboyant hydrangea flowers of autumn have turned to rich decorative sculptures lit by the winter sun.
Roll on spring, I will definitely be back at Aberglasney!
(with thanks to Mike Edwards for extra photos)