Veddw House - Voted one of 100 best British gardens and one of the 3 best in Wales by Garden News readers
Alan Titchmarsh describes it as “A quirky garden created by self-confessed ‘Bad-Tempered Gardener’ Anne Wareham. The hedges alone are worth a visit, and there is much to learn about the use of plants in this Welsh garden. Quirky, fun and inspiring.
Veddw, a two acres garden in the Monmouthshire countryside near Tintern, is about patterns, shapes, colours, drama, sculptural hedges and views. It is also about history and acknowledgement of those people who have lived and worked there in the past, and about the landscape it sits in and belongs to. It is not as much about plants. For all that, the greatest priority at Veddw is to create beauty, using hedging, water and plants in exciting combinations. The hedges create a formal and sculptural framework which contain an informal, rather wild and exuberant planting of principally herbaceous perennials.
Water is used in several ways, but most dramatically in a reflecting pool where curved hedges and the sky are captured in the black water. In the late 18th and early 19th century the Veddw was settled by squatters, who then became tenants of the Lord of the Manor. At that time the surrounding landscape was agricultural and forestry, as it still is, and the Grasses Parterre, where the box hedges filled with ornamental grasses, mark out a pattern of fields taken from the 1848 Tithe Map of the area, to acknowledge that continuity. This and other aspects of the garden are designed to remind us of people who struggled to make a living here in the past.
The owners have designed and made the garden over the past 31 years. Charles and Anne are passionate about gardens but not so much about gardening, believing there is more to life than hard work, so they tolerate and indeed even encourage some plants popularly considered weeds and Anne has written two best selling books which include much good advice about making gardening easier. The garden is open on several Sunday afternoons in summer and to groups by arrangement - details on the website Veddw.com.