greentapestry : A Hilltop Garden In North Wales

Thursday, 21 October 2010

A Hilltop Garden In North Wales

Himself and I spent the last week in September on holiday ~ we were victims of a cancellation so made some last minute plans which worked out well. We headed off for not so far away North Wales where we stayed in a most comfortable log cabin just outside Bala. Of course we just had to fit in some garden visiting and our first trip was to Caerau Uchaf Gardens in Sarnau, which is four miles east of Bala. This is the highest private garden open to the public in North Wales at over 1000 feet. The gardens are owned by Toby and Stephanie Hickish, who have built award winning show gardens at Royal Horticultural Society Shows at Hampton Court Palace and Tatton Park.

In our camper van we gingerly made our way up a rather narrow ascending track before tackling a cattle grid which had seen better days. A most friendly welcome from the owners ensued. They had seen and heard us coming and thought that that we might need a drink to calm our nerves. We decided though that we would see the garden first before seeking refreshments. From wherever you were in the garden, there were glimpses of breathtaking scenery ~

I think that I was so distracted by the scenery that I paid less attention that normal to the garden and the planting. However although it was late in the season there was still colour ~

Places for contemplation ~

A greenhouse that made me positively tingle with envy ~

As well as fine accomodation for visitors both insects  ~

and human ~

including the delightful Pig - Sty Cottage, which you can see above with its most attractive windows . I think I could quite happily stay there for a week but himself thought that it might be too far off the beaten track, to stride out to a local hostelry come the evenings! Caerau Ichaf opens regularly throughout the season including under the National Garden Scheme. We had an enjoyable lunch and a mooch round the plant sales area before taking our leave. A garden now discovered that I hope to return to soon. More on the other Welsh gardens we visited before long.


  1. I bet those borders look wonderful in the height of summer. I love the greenhouse too, and I've been promising myself that I will make a bug hotel but I still haven't got round to it. What a gorgeous little pig sty cottage, and the wonderful views it comes with.

  2. Hi Anna

    I clicked the second pic and then clicked again. A supersize photo of a breathtaking view.

    Ditto the greenhouse by the way.

  3. Fantastic little gem you found there. I'm from Llandudno in North Wales myself. Setting up a new plot in the new foundland of Blackpool now. See my blog! :D Keep me up to scratch on any other little gems you find in my homeland. Thanks for sharing!!!

  4. Dear Anna, What an adventure and what a wonderful find!

    I have never heard of this garden and have been most interested to read your review. The views are amazing but the structure and planting of the garden have obviously been done with great care and style.Lovely!!

  5. I love that part of North Wales, how amazing to be able to create a beautiful oasis so high up, can't be the easiest climate to deal with - hence all those lovely hedgesI suppose. I will add the garden to my "must visit" list.

  6. I would have been distracted by the vistas too Anna. What a spot. I love the greenhouse as well. The owners sound so warm and friendly. ;>)

  7. I would have been distracted by the vistas too Anna. What a spot. I love the greenhouse as well. The owners sound so warm and friendly. ;>)

  8. Fascinating and I am always interested to find gardens close to home like this! If they can garden up high then so can I! Wonderful photos as always.

  9. Ooh, I know Bala - have had holidays in that area & it's a lovely part of the world - but I've never found that garden. It looks lovely - very serene, and what a beautiful setting, no wonder you were distracted by the scenery. Thanks for posting the link - I think I will bookmark the holiday cottages for future reference - there's no such thing as too far off the beaten track as far as I'm concerned!

  10. Bala holds special memories for me Anna. I love that part of north Wales and I wish I had known about this garden. If we ever get back there that is one place I would love to visit.

  11. Anna, Thanks for taking us along - a garden to admire and savor! The orderliness of the "supply" pile really struck me as well as the awesome views.

  12. Thank you Anna for your kind and thoughtful comment at mine. I can't get over how supportive this wonderful community is and I'm so glad to be part of it.

    I would absolutely love this place ... look at those views! And yes I feel the same about that delightful greenhouse. You and your hubby always find such wonderful gardens to visit. Just lovely.


  13. Hi Anna~~ What a great place. Just beautiful.

  14. What a wonderful place to discover so late in the year. I love the broad vistas of the countryside there.


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- Anna.