Thursday, 23 May 2013

A haven in the Welsh countryside

Before I tell you a little bit about this beautiful house and garden in the Welsh countryside I wanted to let you know that this post will be my last until the first week of June. The children have a break from school next week and I'm hoping the sun will greet us so we can use it to enjoy being outdoors. I cannot say that I'm hopeful, it looks like it will rain continuously and as I write this it's pouring with rain. I don't get this spring at all; I can only hope it means we will have a great summer!

Back to this Welsh haven. Arne Maynard is one of Britain's greatest garden designers - he has even designed gardens for the Queen of Jordan - and writes a column for Gardens Illustrated. Maynard and his partner own this historic property called Allt-y-bela, located in Usk in south Wales, which was featured in the January 2013 issue of Garden Design. The literal meaning of Allt-y-bela would be “high wooded hillside of the wolf” - a name to be reckoned with! What is probably the most interesting fact about Maynard's own garden is how different it is from all the other grand and romantic gardens he has designed.

At his own home in Wales he decided to keep things more low-key. The house itself, a rustic farmhouse (by now you probably know how I love those) dates back to the fifteenth century and it has grown organically over the years. It never had any kind of master plan, each owner added rooms as needed. As it says in the article, "the garden, like the house, just evolved." Maynard has removed all the fences and hedges that created boundaries with the surrounding landscape. It is only close to the house where he keeps the garden more formal and structured, as seen in the above photo.

I love the kitchen garden below (also seen in the fifth photo) and the fact that they have chickens.

Goodbye for now, see you in June!

photo credit:
Tom Mannion for Garden Design


  1. Pure heaven indeed! Lisa, I want to pack my bags and go retreat to my grandparents' farmhouse.
    We're having a stormy weather here, but fortunately I managed not to be caught in the storm today (it was close). Enjoy your blog break! I know you'll put it to great use! :)

  2. Love it. Rustic perfection.

  3. Have a wonderful break with fine weather.

    We go to France on Saturday, but the weatherforcast is not so good!

    House and garden are just wonderful.

    ♥ Franka

  4. What a lovely property, Lisa. So tranquil – I can imagine a quiet, restful break there! Wishing you a wonderful break and hope that your weather improves so you can fully enjoy it. xo

  5. This garden is wonderful, Lisa. I am crazy about its wild touch.
    See you...


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