Nant y Bedd, Powys: an enchanting garden escape
Nestled in the imposing forest in the Black Mountains, Nant y Bedd is an enchanting garden escape, blending seamlessly into the special landscape of the Brecon Beacons National Park.
The garden has been developed over nearly 40 years, with the garden owners Sue and Ian Mabberley taking cues from the surrounding landscape and nature. Continuing to evolve and embrace the challenges of a mostly damp, cool and shady setting to advantage.
Across a quiet road is the productive Potager which is described as walking ‘into another world’. Wild wayside flowers – purple spires of toadflax, orange poppies and acid yellow parsnip flowers – wrestle with broad beans, hops and climbing peas.
From here a path, fringed with flowering ground elder and coppiced willow, leads across a rope bridge through a small wildflower meadow to a natural swimming pond with a breath-taking view down the valley across open pasture. Bordered on one side by colossal Douglas Fir trees, native marginals, such as flag iris, purple loosestrife and marsh marigold keep the water crystal clear whilst newts and dragonflies animate the verges. The still water reflects the drama of the location.
The garden tour continues with a path which leads down to the sparkling waters of the Grwyne Fawr river, where bluebells in the spring and wild angelica in the summer clothe the river bank, returning to the Potager through the contrasting dark, shady forest.
This garden is a forager’s and photographer’s paradise, organic gardeners admire the compost heaps and learn about no-dig gardening, whilst children simply enjoy it.
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, making their own compost and woodchip paths.
For more information about when this garden next opens click here
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Photography by Carole Drake
Footage by kind permission of SpunGoldTV who filmed the garden for ITV’s Love Your Garden series