An afternoon out with the National Garden Scheme

An afternoon out with the National Garden Scheme

What better to do on a sunny Sunday afternoon in July than wander around a beautiful garden?

Welcome to my garden sign.

The National Garden Scheme gives visitors the opportunity to visit over 3,500 private gardens throughout England and Wales. The wonderful owners of these private properties give their time and share their beautiful gardens with us and at the same time help to raise money for worthy charities. Money raised through admissions, teas and cake is distributed to a number of nursing and health charities, beneficiaries include Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice UK and The Queen’s Nursing Institute.

Cut flowers and the Powys National Garden Scheme booklets.

The National Garden Scheme was founded in 1927 and just 3 years later 900 gardens had opened for the charity with Sir Winston Churchill among the famous garden owners. Now the National Garden Scheme has over 3,500 private gardens open at some point during the year. Due to being private gardens they aren’t open all year round but are available to visit on selected dates. You can check out the National Garden Scheme website, handbook or local booklets to find out when a garden near you will be open. Look out for the yellow signs pointing the way to the gardens!

The meadow at Ceunant, Llanidloes.
The meadow at Ceunant, Llanidloes.

After a recent request on social media by my local National Garden Scheme area for volunteers, I thought I would give it a go! My first job as a volunteer for Powys NGS was to take photos at Ceunant near Llanidloes, here in Mid Wales.

The River Severn passing by the garden.
The River Severn passing by the garden.
A bench in the beautiful garden at Ceunant, Llanidloes.
Take a seat and enjoy the beautiful garden.

Ceunant is a wonderful 4 acre garden alongside the River Severn, just 7 miles from the source of the Severn and a short distance away from Llyn Clywedog. Surrounded by the rolling hills of Mid Wales and accessed via some narrow Welsh country lanes, Ceunant features a meadow, an orchard and a vegetable plot, alongside a riverside path, an ornamental garden, herbaceous borders, a wooded wildlife area and a wildlife pond.

The garden at Ceunant.

A path through the gardens at Ceunant.
Take a walk through the gardens at Ceunant.
Some shade beneath the trees beside the water.
Finding some shade in the garden.
Overlooking the garden.
Overlooking the garden.

Last Sunday the weather was fantastic, the sun was shining and I might have forgotten to slap on the sunscreen, resulting in a little sunburn (Oops!). It was wonderful to wander around such beautiful surroundings. There were also plenty of places to sit and relax in the company of such an array of captivating flowers and plants. Oh, and not to forget there were copious amounts of delicious cakes and teas on offer.

A large daisy.

Little daisies.


The garden at Ceunant was only started in 2013, yet its owner, Sharon, has achieved so much with it in just a few short years. The riverside location is idyllic, but it has been made to be so much more. There is so much to see. Hidden amongst the plants and flowers, you’ll find treats such as the mud mermaid, a Hobbit-esque place and even flowers made out of recycled cans.

A wooden sculpture.

Flowers made from recycled cans.
Flowers made from recycled cans.
The shepherd's hut at Ceunant.
The shepherd’s hut at Ceunant.

Flowers and plants beside the shepherd's hut.

A wonderful shepherd’s hut sits to one side of the garden, but it was occupied by a lucky couple at the time of our visit so we weren’t able to have a look inside.

A short walk down the lane is the wildlife area and pond. Grasshoppers could be heard chirping in the grass, bees were buzzing about and butterflies were fluttering from plant to plant. Again, we weren’t short of somewhere to rest our feet, however, some wasps had made their home under one of the benches (which we had been warned about!).

The wildlife pond.
The wildlife pond.
A bee on a plant.
Enjoying the nectar.

A butterfly on a plant.

Back in the garden, bees and butterflies were plentiful as Sharon has created the perfect home for them. The garden is also home to some chickens and ducks (who were attentively guarded by a lovely sheepdog).

A duck at Ceunant.

Cut flowers in a jar.

Potted plants at Ceunant.

We had such a wonderful afternoon and all for the bargain price of a £4 entry fee (children enter for free). Ceunant will be open again on Sunday, 28th July 2019 between 1pm and 5pm. I’m already looking forward to discovering more local gardens through the National Garden Scheme.


  1. CherryPie says:

    Your garden photos are stunning. I love visiting gardens at any time of the year.

    Thank you for sharing the history of the National Garden Scheme. I pick up a local leaflet every year but I was not aware of the history of the scheme.

  2. Lisa says:

    This scheme is such a good idea, for garden inspiration if nothing else (and yummy cakes). Your photos are gorgeous and that’s such a great idea to recycle cans into flowers, I’ll have to try that. Lovely post, thank you for sharing this! Lisa 🙂

  3. Hi Nikki,

    So, are any of your wonderful photographs going to be used for the NGS website or handbook, at either a local or national level? If so you will need to keep us all updated, as that would be a great coup!

    We have quite a number of NGS gardens around this part of Somerset and Wiltshire, with most of the money raised being donated to the Dorothy House Foundation, the hospice I volunteer for, and as you say, all the venues are very well supported by both locals and visitors alike.

    It sounds as though you had a lovely day and I hope that you managed to grab a little time away from behind the lens of your camera, to sit and take in all those beautiful plants 🙂


    • Nikki says:

      Hi Yvonne,

      I don’t know about the handbook, website or leaflet, but they should be appearing on the Powys NGS social media platforms before Ceunant’s next open day.

      Yes, I did manage to take a little time to sit and enjoy the wonderful surroundings. 🙂

      Do you visit your local gardens?

      Thanks for dropping by, as always.

      • We generally visit the gardens which support the local hospice where I volunteer, although I have to admit that we spend most of our time at Stourhead, which is the closest NT gardens and is only a few minutes up the road 🙂

  4. Bexa says:

    Wow, what absolutely brilliant photos Nikki! You have really captured the beauty of the place. The bees, butterflies and wildlife look incredible, you have a real eye for photography. Thanks for sharing your snaps! <3 xx

    Bexa |

  5. Anca says:

    The garden looks gorgeous. I will check on the website to see if there are any interesting nearby. I knew about this scheme, but missed it last year, so hopefully I will be able to visit a garden or two this year instead.

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