…to the Royal Horticultural Society’s Partner Garden of the Year 2022!
Nant-y-Bedd translates from the Welsh as Stream of the Grave – there are two Bronze Age burial mounds where our stream starts its journey from the top of the mountain.
This site will show you 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 What’s New – for the latest info – 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 on Gallery in the menu bar.
Please note that this is a Blog rather than a Website and so we keep old articles for people to look back on. Do check the date at the top of any post that you are reading. For example, if the date is 2nd September 2019, then the post was relevant at that time, but may not be now. The only parts of the site that are updated are this page, Visit Our Garden and How to Find Us, all the rest are transitory.
Nant-y-Bedd is a 10 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 40 years, assisted over the past 20 or so 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, the shepherd’s hut, tree-sculpture Cedric and most recently, the treehouse..
RHS recognition …
A wonderful new development in 2019 was our selection as only one of ten 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! Well it was to start with, but now we are the Partner Garden of the Year 2022, maybe it isn’t.
2019 brought Alan Titchmarsh and his Love Your Garden programme. Click to see the clip of Alan here in the garden, and an important and highly topical piece by Clive Aslet in The Daily Telegraph.
In 2021, we hosted BBC Gardeners World and Monty Don who did the links form here during their end of season special on Trees. Many of our spectacular trees featured, but unfortunately the interview with Sue was left out of the broadcast programme.
This year 2022, so far, we have had articles in both The Times and Gardens Illustrated (GI). The Times article, by their chief garden writer, Stephen Anderton, was an excellent piece on Rewilding your Garden. Later in the year the Financial Times featured an article focussing on the advantages of face to face learning in relation to gardening. This featured some of our pics and some excellent quotes from Sue. You can see more here.
Sue was really thrilled by the GI article as it has been her ambition for many a year to make those august pages. Written by Sarah Price and photographed by Jason Ingram – you can’t get better than that combination! – it runs to eight wonderful pages. We’ve just been allowed to publish the whole article which you can see here. Here’s a sneak preview of the opening spread.
You can also now hear the fount of all knowledge, aka Head Gardener Sue, describing a dozen or so main features in the garden on a new app called Candide. Listen in before coming and use it to help you identify key aspects, or after a visit to see if Ian is telling you the same stories when he greets you at the gate!
We also had a lovely bit of success in the English Garden magazine / NGS competition to find The Nation’s Favourite Garden. We came runner-up in the Wales and Marches region, and as the winner was ‘over the border’ we have laid claim to the title of Wales’ Favourite Garden! “There’s tidy” as they say around here!!
In 2018 there was an article in the Organic Way in September / October 2018 and a feature on our woodland (complete with interesting typo in the sub-heading!) in the Small Woods Association magazine.
Going back to 2017 we had a ‘double-header’ in Country Homes & Interiors (photographed & written by Carole Drake) and House and Garden (Photographed by Britt Willoughby-Dyer and written by Sarah Price). Bizarrely – and maybe understandably – both featuring the pond as the lead photo!
Our first national magazine spread came in Saga Magazine in mid 2014. The article ran to six pages of wonderful pictures and text.
In 2007 we featured on BBC2 Open Gardens programme just before our first National Garden Scheme opening, with Carol Klein visiting us on three occasions for the filming.
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 Facebook & Twitter. Keep an eye open for these updates.
A Surprise …
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.
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 40 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. “Fraying into the landscape” as Alan Titchmarsh said.
What our visitors say…
This is a garden which 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” and Alan Titchmarsh wrote in our visitors’ book “If there is a more magical wild garden I have yet to find it! Wonderful!!” – 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.
We are proud of our 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.
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.
Make the effort to visit (or revisit) Nant-y-Bedd; you’ll not regret it!
For details of our opening times and charges please see the Visit our Garden page. This page also gives information on accessibility and the like. Group bookings are welcome by prior arrangement.
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.