Strong winds and lashing rain as we left Shropshire and headed into Wales (by Welshpool – not that great a distance from our starting point at Wollaston Lodge) to visit the extraordinary castle and gardens at Powis Castle. More impressive than I was expecting too – the topiary and towering hedges yes, but not the variety and lushness – and tenderness – of much of the planting on the wide, generous terraces, giving way to formal gardens on the flat below – and wild flower meadows and wilderness. Altogether enchanting.
The rain petered out a little but it did have the advantage that we were pretty much the only souls in the gardens – everybody else had opted for castle interiors or the tea shop. Lucky me!
These postcards are essentially photographic though there is much pleasure to be had in reading more about the gardens evolution through the centuries. These gardens are historical documents, engineering marvels and a horticultural masterclass. Read on and enjoy!
“Wales is famous for its rugged landscapes and ancient fortresses and less known for its gardens, and yet Powis has one of the finest gardens in Britain. Visitors come from all over the world to enjoy its superb horticultural craftsmanship and marvel at what is often described as one of the greatest surviving examples of Baroque garden design in Britain.
Today, you can still see many of the elements that have made this a great garden throughout the ages: the dramatic Italianate terraces; the informal woodland opposite; the Edwardian formal garden and the superb views of surrounding countryside.See the 30ft-high cloud-like yew hedge, dancing statues and lavish herbaceous borders. The sweet scent of flowers fills the air – whatever the season.”