Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Fortified by the previous night's dinner of delicious Welsh lamb shanks, prepared by our hostess Eleri, and the morning's breakfast, which turned out to be just the same as the good old English breakfast, we headed off to visit Powis Castle. Little did we know that we were about to enter the yew hedge capital of the world. I would hazard a guess that you will find it in the Guinness Book of Records. If not, then surely it should be in there.

Among gardeners, who does not have Artemisia x 'Powis Castle'? Here is the castle itself built in the 12th Century.

and here are the yews.

Built on a hill top with terraced gardens overhung with magnificent clipped yews. Imagine the work that must go into maintaining such hedges, their bizarre shapes formed by wind and weather. They were planted in 1640. At that age they really deserve to grow any way they like.

And the view from the top of the many terraces.

The more formal gardens lie below

A stunning arched arbor.

The Orangery sheltered below the upper terrace.

This striking combination of lime green Euphorbia and Parrot's beak, Lotus maculatus, in the front of this herbaceous border.

One last look at the amazing view over the green Welsh countryside and we hurried back to the car. We had planned an early morning visit to Skomer Island off the Pembrokeshire coast.


  1. Thanks again for sharing your photos. I went to Powis on my trip and have fond memories of this beautiful garden, which managed to win my attention over the beautiful surrounding landscape.

  2. Wait, back overseas? I thought you had finished tormenting us with these magnificent gardens?

    I absolutely *love* the blobby yews. Incredible!

  3. Oh my gosh- breathtaking. Absolutely incredible. No I cannot imagine maintaining that. Can not. The arbor photo is beautiful as well- you have done a wonderful job capturing the essence of the place. Again, I feel like I have gone somewhere!

  4. Very cool - but I actually do not have one Powis Catle Sage. (I've specified it, but that's another story)

    The scenes are amazing, but a yew planting of THAT age...I had no idea!! Especially where people-come-into-money build and sell big homes faster than a garden can start growing. Hence such nice gardens...time and the right people who care. Thanks again for sharing!

  5. Alan- Sorry to be confusing and for tormenting you. I had been working on my British tour over time and finally finished day 14. I just decided to post it as I had a good internet connection at the campsite. I plan to move all those posts to their own site when I have finished them. But wait- the best is yet to come. Snowshill and Hidcote.

  6. This is a stunning set, Jenny - it feels as if we don't even live on the same planet as places like Powis Castle.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  7. Wow! Simply beautiful scenery. Love them as it's mostly green. Good for my eyes.

    Cassy from Beginner Free Guitar Lessons

  8. I love the pictures that show the extensive gardens along with that beautiful countryside. Amazing!

  9. Gorgeous, I did have a Powis Castle Artemisia in a previous garden. I love yews, the nearest yew garden to here is Levens Hall in Cumbria, where they have a formal yew garden which they trim every 2 weeks in summer to keep it in shape. But those old yews are spectacular in their natural form.

  10. I'm with Annie. These photos are stunning. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Thank you so much for posting them!

  11. WOW!!! The archway is incredible. Beautiful places. I am catching up on your posts. Thanks for sharing.