In 2010 we were delighted to be accepted into the National Garden Scheme (NGS), which enables selected private gardens in England and Wales to open to the public for charity, and we hope to be able to open under the scheme in future years.
PLEASE NOTE THAT WE ARE ONLY OPEN BY PRIOR ARRANGEMENT,
SO DO PLEASE CONTACT US BEFORE VISITING.
Sadly because of the Covid-19 pandemic, we can’t currently open, in spite of what has been a most extraordinary run of wonderful weather here in April and May. When restrictions are relaxed a little, it’s very likely that for the foreseeable future, we shall continue to only open to visitors who have pre-booked a slot, and purchased a timed ticket direct from the NGS website.
And we’re also likely to have to restrict visitor numbers even more than the twenty or so maximum we’ve aimed for in the past to allow for adequate social distancing.
After trialling the idea in 2019, in future we’ll only be opening the garden, on selected “pop up” days through the year. We’ll do this when the garden is looking good, the weather looks fair(ish!), and we have enough time to arrange it. These openings will nearly always end up being at very short notice – maybe only 2 or 3 days, sometimes longer.
It will therefore require a speedy response to book a place when we do decide to hold a “pop up” opening in this way, as numbers of spaces will be limited.
So if you’d like to visit us at some point in the future, either follow this blog, (click on the tab on the home page) for updates, or email and ask to be put on our list of those who we’ll email when we plan our next opening.
As of June 2020, these are the current publicised NGS guidelines for garden openings, but gardens in Wales are still currently unable to open:
Due to the current situation we are having to set certain conditions so that everyone can enjoy our gardens safely:
Only people with pre-booked tickets can visit the garden at the time-slot they have booked.
Please show or print out your order confirmation email as proof of ticket purchase.
Please do not arrive early and if you arrive late, you will not be able to stay longer than your original time slot.
Please observe social distancing rules on your visit.
There will be no refreshments on sale.
Please respect any signage or instructions the garden owner has.
Picnics may be allowed.
Tickets cannot be exchanged or refunded.
PLEASE DON’T JUST TURN UP – THERE WON’T BE ANY PARKING SPACE & YOU’LL PROBABLY HAVE HAD A LONG WASTED JOURNEY!
To express an interest in visiting the garden for a future “pop up” opening, then please :
Preferably email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
or phone : 01558 685119
Larger groups of more than 10 may be able to arrange visits for specific days in advance, but you must bring a group of at least 10 for us to open in this way specially for you.
Do also check weather forecasts before leaving – sometimes access to the garden is impossible…The garden now has millions of bulbs in it, but every year we still plant lots more and have more of a story to tell about snowdrops from our ongoing Welsh historic snowdrop hunt, (click here), so if you’d like to visit, why not plan a trip now with some friends?
Admission is £5 per person visiting, which goes to the half a dozen charities which the NGS supports. If pre-ordered when arranging your visit, tea or coffee and a selection of home made mini cakes can be provided for visitors. (£3 for tea or coffee and cakes pp)
I also set up and managed for the first 3 years the website for the Carmarthenshire Meadows Group, (click here) which may be of interest to readers, and encouraging more flowers and other wildlife into our meadows is an ongoing project here. In 2016 and 2017 we were one of about 120 locations across the UK which opened our meadows (and gardens as well) under the National Meadows Day initiative.
From 2019, visitors will have a chance to enjoy the views, whatever the weather, from our unique Shepherd’s Hut, designed and built by us in the summer of 2018. Click here for a separate website page about “The Hut”.
Garden View pages accessed via the drop down boxes at the top of the home page are designed to give an idea of what you might expect to see through the seasons (as well as being a record for us of how the seasons vary year on year, and how the garden is inevitably changing over time).
Please also bear in mind that some parts of the garden are steep and in wet or icy weather, parts can become slippery so do wear appropriate foot wear, and if necessary bring walking sticks, umbrellas and warm clothing.
For roughly minute length clips of video with natural sound from the garden, please click on the following link to a sample video from our ‘ImpressionistGarden’ site on You Tube, or as from 2018, there will be a few short clips in the monthly Garden Views pages.
In November 2017 we were thrilled to hear that our garden was one of just 3 in Wales, and 13 in the UK to be featured in international photographer Claire Takacs’ stunning book of 70 gardens from around the globe, titled “Dreamscapes”...
Below are a few of the comments made by visitors to the garden, or website, since we have opened it to the public:
‘One of the Best Snowdrop Events to Visit in 2018’ Daily Telegraph. Click here.
‘An oasis of calm and beauty’ NW Brechfa
‘Hard work – beautiful results!’ JB Oregon USA
‘Fabulous garden and wonderful welcome! – delightful touches to the garden – paths, steps, and furniture – Many thanks.’ S4C Wedi 3 Film Crew
‘Whatever you are doing on Friday 4th March, don’t miss watching Gardeners’ World on BBC2 at 8:30 p.m. to see Welsh ‘Secret Garden’ Gelli Uchaf in Carmarthenshire. This delightful gem situated at the centre of a working smallholding is 800 feet above sea level and boasts wonderful views over the Carmarthenshire countryside. Gardeners’ World will be providing viewers with a glimpse behind the science of early spring planting in this characterful, rainbow coloured haven.’ NGS news 2016. (Click here for more)
” Wondrous garden. Thanks for your hospitality” Carol Klein & BBC Gardener’s World Team Feb 2016. (Click here for more)
‘Beautiful and inspirational – a hidden gem of a garden’ A & M Cilycwm
‘Magic around every corner’ SC Milford Haven
‘Fascinating hillside garden, beautifully done’ GC Cilgerran
‘They have used colour densely and vibrantly as an impressionist painter might. Drifts of small flowers mimic painting techniques such as pointillism – painting with small dots of colour; foliage patterns resemble short, distinct brush strokes while the changing light, shadow and the moving season is a constant feature, making the garden as fresh and original as the ground-breaking French impressionists themselves.’ Naomi Slade – Amateur Gardening Magazine.
‘Even better than the snowdrops’ R&L Egylwswrw.
‘Lovely spending time in your absolutely beautiful garden’. Claire Takacs, (First International Garden Photographer Of The Year, 2008), Melbourne
‘Forget the perfect trophy garden. Today’s finest landscapes are positively wild…Some of the gardens are lower-key but no less naturalistic or reflective of gentle artistry. In the Welsh hills of Carmarthenshire, Julian and Fiona Wormald have spent 24 years creating a densely planted, multilayered garden of bulbs, perennials and shrubs around their 17th-century Welsh longhouse.’ Adrian Higgins. Washington Post. Click here.
‘As soon as you step out onto the terrace in front of the house – a riotous tapestry of low growing ground-cover plants – it becomes immediately apparent that this is no ordinary garden. Delve a little deeper and you find that this is a garden that brings together real technical innovation and creativity in a way that is all too rare’. Noel Kingsbury Gardens Illustrated magazine June 2017.
‘Inspiring.Truly wonderful. Such toil and commitment’ D,P&P Abergorlech
‘Truly inspiring and informative morning. So much to see and learn.Lovely country garden and meadows’ C&C Esgairdawe
‘Truly wonderful. Gardens within a garden and amazing plants and natural effects’. M.T. Salem W.I. Group visit.
‘A truly magical garden.Thanks for your hospitality’. G.J.&.P. Llandrindod Wells.
“Fascinating hillside garden, beautifully done.” GC Cilgerran
‘Amazing!’ JF. S.Africa
‘Fantastic Achievement. We will be back!’ J.W.A. Cellan
‘Looking forward to a return visit later in the year.’ J. Kidwelly
‘Stunning Garden and impressive work’ S.K. Hampshire
‘ Would like to see the garden in every season’. E.R.D. Llanfair Clydogau
‘Thank You. What an amazing garden. Inspiring.’ K&P London
‘Beautiful day, wonderful setting, inspirational garden and photography’. P&C Talsarn
‘Inspirational! A tribute to years of hard physical effort plus sensitive thoughtful design.’ H&S Cardigan
Some of the images Julian has taken over the years in the garden have formed the basis for a unique range of silk scarves which we design and Fiona makes here. Click here for the separate webpage which features the scarves.
We may have a few interesting plants available for visitors to purchase at reasonable prices, but are gradually phasing out plants for sale as we get creakier, apart from snowdrops for our spring openings, and after the challenges of both harsh winters and lack of any water following a severe drought in 2018. We only grow plants which we enjoy and which thrive here, and much in the garden has indeed been propagated by us, including many trees from seeds and perennials from cuttings and divisions. We have a small unheated greenhouse, but all of our plants have to survive in our climate without any real cosseting, and are grown in our own soil/leaf-mould based compost to avoid buying in much in the way of planting materials.
Directions to the garden (SA19 7PY for Sat Nav users) :
Approaching from Llandovery –
Take the A40 for Llandeilo. In Llanwrda turn right onto the A482. After about 6 miles immediately before a sharp right hand bend, bear left downhill onto a narrow road to Crugybar and Llansawel. Continue straight on for about 2 miles, and then turn left at the T junction, and immediately right for Llansawel. In Llansawel turn right at the T junction, with the Angel Inn on your left, then continue out of the village, bearing right past the chapel, until you reach Rhydcymerau after about 4 miles. In the village take the left turn signed to Llidiad Nenog. (There is a phone box on the corner which you pass). About 200 yards further on turn right up a half mile farm track immediately beyond a new bungalow – there are 2 mail boxes at the end of our track with house names. The track has rain run off channels (like mini reverse sleeping policemen!), so please drive slowly. Bear right up the hill at the first property to reach Gelli Uchaf which is at the end of the track.
Approaching from Llandeilo –
Take the A40 towards Llandovery and then very quickly take the first left onto the B4302 signed to Talley. Continue along this road through Talley. About a mile beyond Talley turn left onto the B 4337 signed to Llansawel and Llanybydder. You cross the river Cothi almost immediately. Continue straight on through Llansawel, bearing right past the chapel, until you reach Rhydcymerau after about 4 miles. In the village take the left turn signed to Llidiad Nenog. (There is a phone box on the corner which you pass). About 200 yards further on turn right up a half mile farm track immediately beyond a new bungalow – there are 2 mail boxes at the end of our track with house names. The track has rain run off channels (like mini reverse sleeping policemen!), so please drive slowly. Bear right up the hill at the first property to reach Gelli Uchaf which is at the end of the track.
Approaching from Llanybydder –
From the A485 in Llanybydder take the B 4337 towards Llansawel. Follow this for about 4 miles into Rhydcymerau. Take the first turn right in the village opposite a row of bungalows and continue for about 200 yards and then turn right up a half mile farm track immediately beyond a new bungalow – there are 2 mail boxes at the end of our track, with house names. The track has rain run off channels (like mini reverse sleeping policemen!), so please drive slowly. Bear right up the hill at the first property to reach Gelli Uchaf which is at the end of the track.
Approaching from Carmarthen :
Take the A485 from Carmarthen. In Llanllwni take the first turn right, (after the B4436 left turn to Llandysul). This takes you up over Mynydd Llanllwni. Follow this road over the mountain, straight on at all junctions heading for Rhydcymerau, and enjoy some of the best views in Wales! Once you have come down the hill, and just before the village sign on the right, turn left up a half mile farm track immediately before a new bungalow – there are 2 mail boxes at the end of our track, with house names. The track has rain run off channels (like mini reverse sleeping policemen!), so please drive slowly. Bear right up the hill at the first property to reach Gelli Uchaf which is at the end of the track.
If you’re travelling a distance, why not think of also visiting these other nearby attractions whilst you’re in the area. We can personally recommend all of them as being both beautiful, unique, and value for money experiences, and are where we take visitors. When we have a day off ….
- Aberglasney Gardens. Restored over the last 15 years, in a wonderful setting in the Towey valley, these acclaimed gardens are a mix of centuries of hard landscaping and contemporary planting, with a mature wooded backdrop. Click here for details. 40 minutes from the garden.
- The National Botanic Garden of Wales. Another massive project developed around the millenium and maturing and improving year on year. Difficult to see it all on one visit, but always something of interest at any time of the year, around a very extensive site. We have become life members, to enjoy its ongoing developments on a regular basis. Click here for details. 50 minutes from the garden.
- The Pembrokeshire Coastal Path. Stretching from Amroth in the South to Poppit Sands in the North, this stunning path is listed in the top ten of global hikes. Some rank it as number 2. With stunning scenery for most of the route, interesting towns and villages along the way, and excellent public transport links via the Pembrokeshire Council operated shuttle buses which serve the whole route, small sections can easily be tackled. Much of it is within one and a quarter to one and a half hours drive from our garden. For a brilliant idea of what the scenery is like, follow the link to the wonderful record created by my brother in law, who walked the whole of it in 18 days in the spring of 2013. Click here for the link.
- The Llanerchaeron Estate. About 40 minutes from the garden towards the coast at Aberaeron, this is our favourite National Trust property locally. A pretty, and unique small scale working self sufficient estate created in the C18th around a beautiful historic early John Nash designed house. Worth visiting for the house, estate and farm buildings and gorgeous, still productive, walled fruit and vegetable garden. Click here for link.
- Dinefwr Park and Castle is the other National Trust property close by which is almost as interesting (about 25 minutes from the garden). A C12th Welsh castle commanding the Towey valley, interesting historic mansion and C18th deer park with both deer and long horned white cattle, located on the doorstep of the lovely town of Llandeilo. Click here for link.
- There are many other lovely private gardens to visit in the local area, opening like us through the NGS. Click here for the NGS garden finder web pages.
Accommodation : There are multiple wonderful accommodation options locally in the beautiful Carmarthenshire scenery for those wishing to stay in the area – hotels , B&B, self catering cottages, etc. We can personally recommend a handful:
Ty Mawr Hotel, Brechfa – Melissa and Paul – Wonderful food and a warm welcome here, one of our favourite places for a special meal. Click here for more. 20 minutes from our garden
Forest Arms Brechfa – George and Louise – Another nearby favourite venue with a warm welcome and lovely food. Click here for more. 20 minutes from our garden
Glanrannell Barn Holiday cottages – Andy and Elena – Very close to our garden and with 3 separate cottages which can be hired individually or together, at very reasonable rates. Click here for more. 15 minutes from our garden
Dildre Cottages – David and Cecelia – Click here for their gorgeously located holiday accommodation with stunning views, built by David to a very high standard. 40 minutes from our garden
Abermarlais Caravan Park – Tanya and Stephen. A beautifully located peaceful site in the Twyi valley. Click here for more. 30 minutes from our garden