Yesterday, I had the pleasure of visiting Blaen-y-Cwm, high up in the hills above Llanbister in Mid Wales. The garden was the only one open for the Powys area of the National Garden Scheme this weekend and I was there to take photos and post on social media.
Blaen-y-Cwm roughly translates as “Top of the Valley” and it really is high up there! Accessed by country lanes, the property sits on common land at 1,100 feet and you can see for miles across the hills.
When we arrived there were already several cars there and more arrived afterwards. It turned out to be a popular garden for somewhere which really can be described as being “in the middle of nowhere”!
A lush, green lawn leads to a duck pond surrounded by beautiful plants, with beehives in one secluded corner. A lone statue overlooks the plants, seating area, pond and lawn beyond, surveying her land. Bees and butterflies dance amongst the flowers, and garden birds and ducks are the soundtrack to this peaceful scene.
Heading through the orchard and over to the other lawn, a slight breeze rustles through the trees and a small brook babbles gently downhill. More flowers blossom here and a young child darts from flower to flower before excitedly running around the lawn, closely followed by his family.
A small bridge takes us over the stream to another lawn. The lawn borders the house to the side and back, and features more flowers.
Some steps take us down to the front of the house. Next to the garage, a bee flits from petal to petal on a flower.
Around the other side of the house, a team of volunteers are serving teas whilst white Silkies and other chickens wander nearby. It is here, whilst talking to other volunteers, that it is noticed that I’d gained a hitchhiker… A bee had landed on my arm and was having a rest!
Sans bee, we open a gate and head into the fruit and vegetable garden to explore. Beneath polytunnels and in raised beds, an abundance of fruit and vegetables grow. Flowers also flourish here and a buddleia proves very popular with the bees and butterflies.
The owners obviously have a sense of humour as their scarecrow probably scares more than just the birds. Yes, “Chucky” keeps his wicked eye over their garden!
We head to the stall and just in time. The heavens open briefly but that doesn’t put off the hardy visitors. Hoods are pulled up and everyone carries on whether they’re wandering the garden or sat having a cup of tea. The rain doesn’t last long and the ground soon dries up in the warmth. The jams, chutneys and honey on sale are very tempting, but I end up buying three greeting cards (lovingly illustrated by one of the owners) and a plant.
We have another wander around the gardens and take time to enjoy the Indian Runner ducks (they’re so fun to watch!), before heading home.