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