A magical and almost secret place set in the incredibly beautiful Tywi valley of Carmarthenshire, Aberglasney has undoubtedly one of the loveliest gardens in Wales. I've been wanting to go back ever since we first visited in 2011, and this Easter I managed to convince the boyfriend's parents it was time for another visit.
Apparently historians can't pinpoint exactly when the house was built but it fell into serious disrepair after World War II, when it was home to American troops. For years, even some locals didn't know the property existed. Those who did set about trying to save it after a series of changes in ownership, vandalism and years of neglect saw it in a really bad way. The property was bought by a trust in 1995 and a slow restoration project began. Today, you'll find a cafe, magnificent indoor tropical garden (the ninfarium), a bluebell wood, holiday cottages for hire, and a spectacular display of blooms. We were too early for the bluebells that we saw on our last visit but the magnolias, hellebores and daffodils were putting on a magnificent display in the walled and Asiatic gardens. I can only imagine what the roses and peonies are like mid-summer. It's totally worth the modest entry fee.
The ninfarium is housed in a part of the old home and covered with glass roof. Filled with orchids, maidenhair ferns, palms and other green lushness, it's a good use of part of the historic building that was obviously once in a pretty bad way. Whoever decided to turn it into an indoor garden, instead of rebuilding rooms from almost scratch, is obviously a genius. Semi-tropical, humid and ever-so green, it reminds me of home in NZ. So much gorgeousness, I'd quite like a ninfarium too. (The name derives from Ninfa, a garden situated southwest of Rome - I have no idea why).
You can find out more about the history of the place, the amazing work the trust has done and opening times on the Aberglasney website.
Film photos 1, 3, 7, 8 by Luke. Rest taken on my iPhone 6.