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Plas Cadnant Gardens

To boldly go where no FAGUS member had ever been, to the recently re-opened gardens in a secret valley on Anglesey. This sounds like an echo of Heligan and indeed the 19th century owners of these properties were related.
Bought in 1996 by a Staffordshire farmer as an agricultural investment, it was a challenge to discover a walled garden buried under trees, a ravine with stream and waterfalls and outbuildings almost in ruins. Sixteen years on the buildings have been turned into holiday cottages, a visitor centre is up and running and the gardens have undergone a transformation.
There are long herbaceous borders, yellow and blue gradually mutating into reds, but it is the entry into the walled garden which is the most dramatic. Once cleared the ground was revealed as sloping in two directions, potentially difficult to organise.
The problem was solved by creating a smooth sweep of lawn stretching from top to bottom, bisected by a straight path bordered by clipped yew and hornbeam, still small but giving a hint of their potential effect. Beyond the boundary wall a path takes the explorer down into the valley with its stream and waterfalls.
Elsewhere, there is a box-edged herb garden and plans for another long mixed border.
The enthusiasm of the owner is infectious and it was a delightful visit.

Norma Knight

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