A further five and a half acres consist of an arboretum with 400 trees and shrubs planted since 2000. There are some quirky features: old garden equipment is dotted around and a “Sulking House” provides a wonderful hideaway for someone to work through their bad mood.
Secondly, we visited Westonbury Mill Water Gardens, Pembridge.
In 1969 Richard Pim was working in the Sahara and dreaming of babbling brooks and riverside pastures. He asked a friend in the UK to find him a piece of land to buy with a water meadow, a stream and some sort of building, which his friend duly did. Richard started work on the plot about 15 years ago by restoring the waterwheel and then building a stone tower to mount it on. Various follies were added including a bottle grotto, an African summerhouse and a 25ft oak tower containing a water-powered cuckoo clock, from which a 3ft wooden cuckoo emerges on the hour to call and sing for about two minutes. There was a wide variety of colourful plants, ferns, gunneras and weeping willows, the combination of which was absolutely lovely.
Our final visit of the day was to see the garden at Rhodds Farm, Lyonshall owned by Richard and Cary Goode.
Work on the garden began in 2005 and everything, apart from the mature trees, has been planted since then. There are no solid boundaries so that the garden blends into the landscape beyond to give good views to the surrounding countryside and the Welsh hills.