Nant y Bedd

Welcome to the  Nant y Bedd garden website.  This site will show you different aspects of the garden at different times of the year, along with Sue’s general gardening thoughts and details about some of our eco-friendly activities. Either click on the Recent Posts in the right hand column or select an area of interest from the menu buttons above.  Better still click Follow at the bottom right of your screen to get instant notification of new posts.  For an idea of the garden throughout the year click here.


Pond by Mick Petts, Hut by Larry Skeates

Nant y Bedd is a 6.5 acre organic garden and woodland located at 1200 feet up in the Black Mountains in the Brecon Beacons National Park in Wales. Sue has been gardening here for 38 years, assisted over the past 20 years by Ian.  Slowly but surely the garden has grown and evolved with various projects being added over the years,  including the natural swimming pond, pictured above with the shepherd’s hut. 

One of our greatest thrills was being featured in Saga Magazine in mid 2014.  The article ran to six pages of wonderful pictures and text.  Last year have featured in Country Homes & Interiors (photographed & written by Carole Drake) and House and Garden (Photographed by Britt Willoughby-Dyer and written by Sarah Price).  There was also an article in the Organic Way in September / October and most recently a feature on our woodland (complete with interesting typo in the sub-heading!) in the Small Woods Association magazine.

A wonderful new development for 2019 (and beyond) is our selection as only one of eleven Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Partner Gardens  in Wales.  To be classed alongside the likes of the National Botanic Gardens of Wales, Aberglasney and Dyffryn Gardens is a great privilege  – and more than a bit scary!

We started 2018 with a bit of a bang, with this lovely video, filmed and produced by Sophie Windsor Clive, documenting some thoughts on the garden in January.

We add regular pictures on Instagram and also use FacebookTwitter.  Keep an eye open for these updates.

Sometimes called the Garden in the Forest, Nant y Bedd comes as a complete surprise with wonderful mix of organic vegetables, imaginative planting, water, stone and timber features giving something for everyone.

You can see here where we are – by zooming out – and the layout of our garden, although much of it is hidden by trees, with the pond clearly showing at the bottom of the field.

The surprise of Nant y Bedd’s garden stops motorists, cyclists and walkers in their tracks as they emerge from the thick, surrounding, conifer woodland. Nant y Bedd is more than just a garden; it’s part of the living landscape, high in the Black Mountains, bounded by the forest and the beautiful Grwyne Fawr river.

Lovingly created over 38 years, there’s something for everyone. A wonderful mixture of organic fruit and vegetables, imaginative planting, mature trees, winding paths, bridges, pond, stream and ‘designer’ dry-stone walls.  The garden and its surroundings seamlessly blend into one another, making a sizeable garden feel even bigger.

This is a garden which previous visitors have described as “the best garden in Gwent, my 3rd visit!”, “magical garden – part of the landscape”, “really inspiring”, “lovely garden, very different, special ‘atmosphere’” and “can’t wait to return”. This year someone said “you have enhanced Nature” – can’t get much better than that!! Even if you’ve visited before, it’s worth returning, as the garden is constantly evolving, and every year and season brings its own aspects to bear on the look and feel of this amazing place.

Sue & Ian are also proud of their efforts in living in the most eco-friendly way possible, planting to help wildlife, using the local timber for cooking and heating (see the attention grabbing wood-stores!), making their own compost and woodchip paths, and the micro-hydro electricity generating system using the garden’s stream.

Make the effort to visit (or revisit) Nant y Bedd; you’ll not regret it!

Despite the short growing period that being at this altitude presents, we’ve opened the garden for 10 years now for the National Gardens Scheme (NGS) and are doing so again on May 26/27th 2019.     For more information on the NGS click here.  Not everyone can make it on the set opening date, so we will also be accepting visitors on weekends from July to September and on a By Appointment basis at other times.  See the panel on the right for details.

Nant y Bedd (which incidentally translates from the Welsh as Stream of the Grave) featured on BBC2 Open Gardens programme in 2007 just before our first NGS opening, with Carol Klein visiting us on three occasions for the filming.

In addition to opening for NGS, we have also opened for the Monmouthshire Eco-Open Doors weekend, where the emphasis is on the green living aspects of Nant y Bedd rather than purely gardening.

We add new pictures and comments at regular intervals to let you see how things are changing from season to season and year to year. Just click  on Recent Posts to see the latest.

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Howie
    Jan 17, 2014 @ 20:55:52

    You forgot to mention the home brew !


    • ianmabberley
      Jan 18, 2014 @ 09:59:24

      …and the cider. Although this year’s cider came from apples from elsewhere as we suffered from a late cold spell when the blossom was out.


  2. Rosamund Davies
    Jul 10, 2014 @ 13:57:25

    Many thanks for donation to NGS Glamorgan from visit of Llanthony Gardening Club to Tony Ridler’s Garden
    Good luck with your opening
    kind regards

    Rosamund Davies NGS County Organiser Glamorgan


    • ianmabberley
      Jul 10, 2014 @ 17:53:56

      Thanks Rosamund

      NGS does such great work that we do all we can to help.


  3. bronyddrt
    Jul 13, 2014 @ 15:14:45

    Hi! I am coming up on Sunday and am wondering whether you are easy to find. I am presently involved in research for a book, initially inspired by my family of Powell ( Tyn y Llwyn) but by now a bit more ambitious than originally planned. I will give you more information if you are interested but now need to know how far up towards the reservoir you are. Do I need a Google Map? I know the area reasonably well. All best Rita (Tait) Hay-on-Wye


  4. David Thomas
    Jul 16, 2014 @ 13:56:30

    Will visit by appointment when bashing or hashing nearby. Sounds astounding and rather special no wonder you both look so fit OnOnl


  5. david foster
    Jul 22, 2014 @ 07:37:12

    Hi Ian, I couldn’t believe it when I saw your article in Saga magazine! A long time since our days in Dorking with all the gang, I often wondered what you were up to and now I know, what a great time you have had, I’m quite envious and well done you. Liz and myself are living near Chevening, Sevenoaks in a barn and are well thank goodness. What is your email address and your home address etc? Regards David Foster….


  6. Carole Davies
    Oct 16, 2014 @ 09:19:21

    Thoroughly enjoyed visiting your inspiring garden this summer..advising you that I have received Linaria Purpurea seeds which you have kindly forwarded to me. Hope to see you next year..


  7. Jenny and Morris Jones
    Feb 05, 2015 @ 16:46:18

    What brilliant information! Will keep in touch and look forward to seeing you more than once during 2015.


  8. Gloria Mayo-Evans
    Sep 27, 2015 @ 19:11:34

    Absolutely amazing place. It’s something special. Beautiful riverside and woodland walks. Sue and Ian are So welcoming and happy to chat and talk about their beautiful place. We will definitely come again and recommend it to friends


  9. Avril Suddaby
    Apr 06, 2016 @ 17:53:08

    Thank you so much for allowing my impromptu visit to your wonderful garden. I fully intend to come again.


    • ianmabberley
      Apr 06, 2016 @ 18:37:30

      Thank you. We look forward to again seeing you when the weather is better.


    • ianmabberley
      Apr 09, 2016 @ 10:45:07

      Dear Avril. It was lovely to meet you last week. A great shame that your visit had to be so short. I look forward to chatting properly when you visit again – you obviously ‘get’ our garden and what we are doing here. Sue


  10. Mhairi Garner
    Sep 18, 2017 @ 01:37:10

    Beautiful area


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