19 March 2012

From small seedlings

Grab a pew but just mind the decorators - don't want you getting covered in wet paint.

Work's been ticking along quite slowly here since your last visit - it feels like the builders have moved into the cottage (aka Bwthyn y Plas) with us but they've assured me that by the end of this week it will all be over, I'm not holding my breath, though, as it should have been finished before Christmas! Once the cottage is finished work can start again on the main house - which is the really exciting bit. The mood boards have been dusted down, hotel websites scrutinised and changes made here and there. I can't wait for the demolition team to arrive and we can finally get started.

In the meantime I've been very busy in the grounds with the help of Pops, my faithful old boxer - not my Dad! Together we've been pulling up rogue rhododendrons (which I now loathe with a passion), laurels (which arouse similar feelings as rhododendrons) and miles upon miles of brambles. We're slowly uncovering the original structure of the garden that I do know had been laid out by Rev John Parry in the 1890s. Now for a little potted history lesson - some gardens created during this time were influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement and in particular Gertrude Jekyll and Edwin Lutyens. Gardens were designed to link the house with the countryside surrounding it, moving from the formal area next to the house down through to more relaxed, wilder planting in the areas next to the fields.  This influence can clearly be seen here in the gardens at Plas y Nant and, with a lot of hard work, hopefully they will be blooming marvellous again. End of history lesson.

Now David's not into gardening at all but, bless him (although maybe not seeing as he is an atheist!), he has accompanied me round many gardens whilst I gather ideas and inspiration. It has all been worthwhile, though, as I now have planting plans for most areas of the garden. It will look different in certain areas to what it looks like now - some more so than others -  but it will retain the Arts and Crafts influence laid out by Rev Parry. The old static caravan has been put to good use before we sell it for scrap - it is now a greenhouse. I was so excited when I went in there this morning as four seedlings had appeared - what a transformation those will make to the garden! 

Although it's been hard we totally enjoyed completely transforming the bunkhouse into our cottage and life is going to get even more exciting once the changes start to happen to the main house and garden. We firmly believe in looking forward to the future and not dwelling in the past. I'm off now to talk to my four seedlings and hopefully there might be a few more additions.


  1. "We firmly believe in looking forward to the future and not dwelling in the past."

    Good for you - that's how it should be. You will be taking the house into it's next chapter and new memories will be made there for your clients. Can't wait to see the changes. Luckily you came along to rescue this wonderful building

  2. Thanks Enid for your lovely comment - it means a lot at the moment! May be one day you'll be able to come and stay and see all the changes for yourself. I promise I won't make you clean any toilets!

    Hope your renovations are going well and not too stressful.

  3. Great to hear that the Arts and Crafts garden is to be restored. I am fully behind your stance on Laurel and Rhododendron, we have Bodnant to thank for the latters mass break out (allegedly). Even the National Trust has Rhodie Bashing weekends! Looking forward to seeing the final results.

  4. Thanks Nigel. I had a wander round Bodnant a couple of weeks ago and shuddered everytime I saw a Rhododendron. Luckily for Bodnant I'd left my loppers at home!