Last year, when preparing the calendar for the group I suggested that in May we take a trip to Dyffryn Gardens, St Nicholas, Cardiff when the weather would be more favourable!! For those of you who can remember the weather on Thursday 14 May let me remind you, it rained! However, the intrepid gardening group set off together with other U3A members and a group from Narberth. Driving conditions on the motorway were described as hazardous (get the picture) after two wrong turnings we finally arrived at the garden the rain continued but somewhat less heavy. This is a National Trust property with the most wonderful mansion currently in the course of restoration. Some rooms have been finished, and they simply took away one’s breath, fabulously decorated ceilings and wood panelling not to mention a magnificent stained glass window situated in the great hall.
Some of us did cheat a little by viewing the gardens from the upstairs windows, looking down on the great lawn and a rather water logged croquet lawn. The garden possesses many Acers together with impressive champion trees in the Arboretum.
My favourite area has to be the herbaceous border, already showing the reds and soft pinks of Peonies and the stately stems of Delphiniums – won’t they be splendid in a few more weeks? The walled garden is most impressive with many vegetable plots already showing signs of the bounty they will produce in a few weeks time!
Upon entering the large glasshouse the perfume of orchids was powerful, Not my favourite plant I have to say but beautiful nevertheless. The collection of cacti, again, most impressive it could be said. We lingered here to avoid the inclement weather but what a fascinating way of doing so.
If you have not visited this garden I would thoroughly recommend you do so, but try and pick a day when the sun shines. However, despite the weather conditions, we all had a great day and the café offers a very nice cup of tea and slice of cake!
Penny Thomas 14th May 2015