Garden visit: Aberglasney Gardens

Aberglasney Gardens is a good example of a the value of second chances. We visited Aberglasney, in the Tywi Valley, Carmarthenshire (Wales), more than 15 years ago, and all I recall is it felt dim and uninviting. It was towards the end of the season, which I’m sure didn’t help. Our friend Ingrid lives nearby and loves it, and convinced me that I should give it another try. Oh gosh, I’m so glad I did. I’ll let the photos mostly speak for themselves…

An overview of the Upper Walled Garden, with a mix of blue, pink and yellow flowers, some conical shaped yew trees, and surrounded by a stone wall.
Upper Walled Garden
Looking over the Pool Garden. There are white daffidols in the foreground, then the pond, then a border with brightly coloured tulips, a greenhouse, and stone buildings.
Pool Garden
In the foreground are dark purple, yellow and orange tulips and a stone wall. In the distance is a hill with cows on it. Even though they are far away, the perspective is weird and makes them look like very large cows!
Weird perspective makes the cows look much larger & closer than they are!
A red breasted robin standing on stone looking at the camera.
Friendly Robin.
Blue Camassias in the foreground, and in the distance you can see a hint of the bluebell wood. There is lots of lush green growth and it all looks very vibrant.
From the Pool garden, looking at Camassias, with a hint of the bluebell wood in the distance.
A panoramic view of the Pool Garden, looking down towards the Woodland Garden. There is a big rectangle pool in the middle that in part, reflects the sky and some nearby trees, with tulips and forget-me-nots in a border to the right.
Overview of the Pool Garden, with the Woodland Garden in the middle distance.
Blue Camassia flowers with a red tailed bumblebee supping on some of the nectar.
Red tailed bumblebee on a Camassia.
A peek into the Sunken Garden. You can see a Wisteria climbing up a pole and the flowers are getting close to coming out. Underplanted with Tulips, and other trees and blue Camassias in the distance.
A view through to the Sunken Garden.

Woodland Garden

Exploring the Woodland Garden was a child-like experience, with delights and associated ‘cooing’ noises, exclaimed from around every bend. And I’m sure I spotted a pixie or two. It’s a beautiful space, and it gave me lots of ideas for the shadier part of my garden.

A path through the Woodland Garden and in the distance, part of the bluebell wood.
And overview of the Woodland garden, with blue and pink flowers and lots of lush green growth.
Bright green new growth of ferns that have almost unfolded.
Lush fern fronds.
In the Woodland Garden. Lots of leafy hostas in different colours of green, intermingled with pink Candelabra Primulas.
Lots of pink candelabra Primulas amongst Hostas.
Part of the bluebell wood, with bluebells near the ground level, and the lush new growth of green beech tree leaves.
Bluebells under the beech trees.

Lower Walled Garden

A fruit tree tunnel in full bloom with thousands of white flowers.
Fabulous apple(?) tree tunnel in blossom.
Fruit trees trained on a stone wall, cris-crossing each other so that you see 'diamond' shapes from the branches. In the foreground are blue Camassia flowers.
Fruit trees criss-crossing each other in a wonderful pattern.
Peeking through the undercroft to some white, pink, purple and yellow tulips.
The undercroft, leading to the Elizabethan Cloister Garden.


A Ninfarium is a garden planted in stone ruins, such as that in the village of Ninfa near Rome, or here at Aberglasney. The Ninfarium at Aberglasney has a conservatory-like roof over it, so you can enjoy the outdoors, indoors.

A hanging basket with hydrangeas handing down from the top of a stone window.
A bird of paradise plant, Streletzia. It has bright orange petals that stick up, and then a pointed green and purple part of the stem that is horizontal to the petals. It is surrounded by lush green foliage.
Strelitzia, bird of paradise plant.
Part of the Ninfarium with lush green growth and some orange flowers.
The old walls present the planting beautifully. Or do the plants present the walls?!
An purple and pink mottled orchid in the Ninefarium.
Lush growth in the Ninfarium, with lots of stone work and a stained glass window.

This visit to Aberglasney was fabulous, and I’m so glad Ingrid convinced me to give it another go. I envision a return visit soon.

Four people in the Woodland garden which has young lush growth and a pond.
Myself on my scooter, with Kate, Becca & Ingrid, down in the Woodland Garden.

P.S. The website for Aberglasney has probably the clearest information I’ve come across when it comes to clarifying disabled access. Much of the garden is accessible by scooter and powerchair, including toilets and the cafe. There would be some inclines that might be too steep for a push wheelchair, but most of the site is wheelchair accessible too. About the only thing missing is a Changing Places toilet.

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