Croesllanfro Farm, Rogerstone, Newport
Mr and Mrs Barry Davies
The garden surrounds Liz and Barry Davies’ old Welsh farmhouse in a comfortable informal embrace. From a terrace behind the house, furnished with planters filled with enormous Hostas, the garden opens out in a series of lawned spaces, bounded by hedges and densely planted herbaceous borders. The garden peaks in late summer in an explosion of colour. By the house pots of Dahlias and Agapanthus set the tone and this is picked up by the sweeping plantings of Persicaria, pink Japanese Anemones, Rudebeckias, Eutrochium and grasses. To one side of the house the ground rises towards a large restored barn and here Liz has designed a formal, minimalist courtyard, with one late-season flourish outside her potting shed, a border of Sedums, Cannas, Ricinus and Cleome.
Llanover House, Abergavenny
Mr and Mrs Ross Murray
Elizabeth Murray’s family have lived at Llanover since 1792. The bones of the garden, particularly the ponds, rill, the Round Garden and the landscaping of the park, were carried out then. Later generations have added to the gardens, particularly in the planting of trees and shrubs, most notably Elizabeth’s father, Robin Herbert CBE, who was President of the RHS. Apart from the rich collection of spring-flowering Magnolias and Rhododendrons, the two arboreta in the garden have fine specimens of Taxodium, Davidia, Cornus, Acers, Nyssa and Liquidambar for autumn colour as well as a number of Champion Trees. The garden is blessed with abundant water which flows from the hills above to fill the ponds, pour over cascades, meander through the bog garden and eventually join the nearby River Usk.
Highfield Farm, Penperlleni, Pontypool
Dr and Mrs Roger Lloyd
Roger and Jenny Lloyd had a remarkable garden in Cheshire, from which they moved before Border Lines could arrange a visit. Some four years ago they moved to Jenny’s old home in Monmouthshire and have created a new three-acre garden from scratch. In extraordinarily little time the garden has grown and matured and is filled with plants, mainly perennial, many rare, some widely available, but all of them first-rate. The garden is able to offer a wide range of conditions, from enclosed near-woodland, in deep to mottled shade, at the west end of the garden, through open borders in full sun, where hardy plants shelter much tenderer specimens, to the newest and highest part of the garden, which is almost gravel gardening, with wonderful long views towards the Black Mountains. The Lloyds’ enthusiasm for their garden and obsession with plants is highly infectious. This time they will not get away without that visit.