I lost my heart at Aberglasney Garden!

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.

Virginia creeper & dahlias

or the perfect placing of this architectural honey bush, Melianthus major, at the left side of the entrance to the walled garden.

This architectural plant marks the entry to the walled garden at Aberglasney

Melianthus major: This architectural plant marks the entry to the walled garden at Aberglasney

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 walled garden at Aberglasney

The walled garden at Aberglasney: yew cones and long shadows in December

The walled garden at Aberglasney in October

The walled garden at Aberglasney in October

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.

Frosted ferns

Frosted ferns

The stream leads the eye from the ferns to the trees

The stream leads the eye from the ferns to the trees

Here the flamboyant hydrangea flowers of autumn have turned to rich decorative sculptures lit by the winter sun.

A pink cultivar of Hydrangea paniculata

A pink cultivar of Hydrangea paniculate in October

Winter flowers of Hydrangea paniculata

Winter flowers of Hydrangea paniculata

Frosted Hydrangea paniculata

Frosted Hydrangea paniculata

The effect of frost on plants is one of winter’s irresistible treats.

The effect of frost on plants is one of winter’s irresistible treats.

Roll on spring, I will definitely be back at Aberglasney!

(with thanks to Mike Edwards for extra photos)

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About Kathy Taylor

I design gardens of all sizes, from small town courtyards to large country estates. I am happy to be involved in simple planting plans through to complete redesigns. Colour, texture and form are essential in my designs, which blend contemporary and traditional elements. I believe that the smaller details make a garden what it is. The garden is now regarded as an outside room to be enjoyed as an extension of your house.
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6 Responses to I lost my heart at Aberglasney Garden!

  1. Marilyn Taylor says:

    Very interesting to read about these gardens in winter having recently visited in October. I hadn’t thought about the idea of seeing the structure of some of the planting in winter so that will inform my future winter garden visits.

  2. Maggie Vance says:

    Will have to make a visit there – looks inspiring.

  3. allan thomson says:

    This garden looks fabulous. I would love to visit some day.
    Happy 2015
    The real Virginia Creeper

    Allan

  4. Mike says:

    Views through archways, and reflections in the lake are stunning. The hoar frost and low level winter light was a photographers dream. A must see garden just off the A40

  5. firetice says:

    It’s so true a garden has a different beauty in winter. Aberglasny looks beautiful, especially the low winter sun shadows on the Yew cones and the frost outlined leaves. Love the idea of documenting the garden through the year.

  6. lucy sommers says:

    Love the frost effect photos…makes me want to visit Aberglasny in the depths of winter!

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