Yesterday, on a sunny day with a fractious swirling wind we visited Veddw House Garden in Monmouthshire. We had been meaning to for a while now. I might have been expecting formal herbaceous plantings in amongst the clipped hedge rooms, there weren’t any. I had to adjust my focus to better appreciate this garden.
I too have been admiring the invasive Fireweed / Rosebay Willowherb (Chamerion angustifolium) this year along roadsides for its rude pinkness and general billowing perkiness as August grasses fade to beige. Anne Wareham has invited it into the garden to great effect, I timidly will stick to the white version which here is already over.
Great swathes of what I think is Persicaria campanulata were contained by box hedging in shadier areas, light picking up the white of the small bobbly flowerheads. Other ‘boxes’ contained Molinia and Stipa. I liked a view of a block of scarlet Crocosmia seen through waving Molinia. Elsewhere a great wash of silver Elymus was parted by a path to a seat. Formal beds of flowering artichokes were under-planted with a red leaved heuchera, the light flowers of which created a slightly disturbing effect.
Waves and lines
There is a satisfying interplay of strong shapes provided by hedging and in some places seating, enhanced by light and shade. The hedges created strong shadows, sometimes marking a line between the formal and the informal, at other times echoing the hedge waves.
It was satisfying at one point to walk along and run one’s hand gently along the waving backs of the hedges – like making contact with a large stubbled animal.
As the garden is on a slope (somewhat!) one could look down and watch how other garden visitors navigated the paths and garden rooms, taking advantage of seating to admire the garden and its setting amongst the rollercoaster local hills.
And I loved this bountiful muddled hortensia.