The title really is no exaggeration. This is a delightful garden and a real hidden gem. It doesn’t have a web site and there are no brown signs to it. Less than ten miles south of the popular tourist resorts of Prestatyn and Rhyl, it feels a million miles away.
At the southern end of the small settlement of Tremeirchion on the B5429, the only indication of the gardens is a small notice on the gateway saying ‘Entry to HHA members and friends only’. It was worth our yearly membership just to visit these gardens.
We drove in through the gateway and parked up in the stable block, signing the visitors sheet and picking up a plan of the gardens.
Through an archway, a series of parallel block paving paths with connecting paths between them, divide the garden into different ‘rooms’ which flow effortlessly into each other. Starting with the gravel garden, which can best be described as a rock garden on steroids, it just gets better and better. The walled garden contains a tennis court as well as the vegetable garden with a scarecrow. Raised beds contain the herb garden with thymes, sages, dill, lemon balm, salad burnet, chervil, comfrey. Everywhere was the sound of bees. Paths are lined with trimmed box hedges and flower beds. At the far end are the greenhouses used for growing annuals, strawberries and grapes.
A wisteria arch dripping with pendulous lilac flowers took us through into a parterre garden surrounded by a clipped yew hedges with box hedges and rose bushes.
Below the walled garden is a wide shrubbery border with rhododendrons coming into flower, with camelias, Pierris, Mexican orange blossom. Beyond the ha-ha is open parkland with mature trees and sheep grazing, with views across the Vale of Clwyd to the distant mountains.
We followed this path along to the front of the house (not open), an elegant Georgian building and considered to be one of the finest in Wales. To the side, a stream flows down through a series of delightful rock gardens to a small pond with a statue of a small girl and a bridge.
We loved this garden. There is something different to see almost every step and the way it leads you into the different areas fires the interest. It is beautifully kept, without a weed in sight. The soil is covered with a mineralised mulch which suppresses all the weeds and can be dug in to provide compost. There are plenty of seats to sit and enjoy the gardens. Paths are good and most of the garden is accessible for wheelchairs. There are a few steps in places, but there are routes round these.
The garden is only open the first and second Tuesday of the month from April to September. It gets few visitors and all are very complementary about the garden.
For more details visit the Historical Houses Association website.
Details of HHA friends membership can be found here.