Tranquility Haven; a Japanese surprise in Powys

Tucked away in Wales there is an amazing Japanese Stroll Garden with borrowed views to the historic Offa’s Dyke. Winding paths pass small pools and lead to Japanese bridges over natural streams with dippers and kingfishers. Sounds of water fill the air. You can enjoy this surprising garden and explore the dense oriental planting of Cornus kousa satomi, acers, azaleas, unusual bamboos this autumn with our virtual visit filmed by Richard Oren of Burnt Orange Media and introduced by garden owner Val Brown, who explains why she decided to open her garden for the National Garden Scheme.

More about the garden

Owner Val Brown and her late husband started creating Tranquility Haven from nothing 15 years ago.  Val says she loves the serenity of the bamboos and acers. She opened her garden for the first time in 2019 saying: “My husband died with cancer and I saw what he went through and all the help he had from Macmillan, so now I am giving something back”.

All the gardens that open for the National Garden Scheme help raise vital funds for nursing and health charities and many owners have a personal connection, like Val, between their gardens and their reason for opening. The National Garden Scheme is Macmillan Cancer Support’s longest standing partner having donated over £19 million since the partnership began 40 years ago. For more on the partnership click here.

This surprising and enchanting garden behind a detached bungalow in a cul-de-sac comes to life in the autumn with displays of reds and golds as the acers come to the fore. Yet one of the real delights is emerging from lush growth and sitting on the terrace by the house. Looking down you see the colours, shapes and textures of the garden provided by the many varieties of plants used. It is difficult to believe that you are in the UK at all, but lift your eyes and look beyond the garden and you survey the open countryside and Offa’s Dyke beyond.

More about the local history of Offa’s Dyke

Offa’s Dyke is a linear earthwork which roughly follows the Welsh/English boundary. It consists of a ditch and rampart constructed with the ditch on the Welsh-facing side, and appears to have been carefully aligned to present an open view into Wales from along its length. As originally constructed, it must have been about 27 metres wide and 8 metres from the ditch bottom to the bank top.

The origins of the Dyke are shrouded in mystery so that many of its aspects are speculated upon rather than being fully understood. The Dyke appears to have been constructed in response to events in the border region involving the Princes of Powys, but whether it was intended as an agreed boundary, as a defensive structure with long lost additional fortifications, or for some other use, is not known. It is thought to have been started in about 785 AD and to have taken several years to build. The 9th Century history of the region suggests that the earthwork had only a short period of importance and was then abandoned.

Discover this fascinating garden and the history that surrounds it. For more information about opening times see the garden listing by clicking here


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