At last the garden team at Powis Castle, Welshpool can let out a huge sigh of relief as the spring sunshine finally emerges from its winter slumber.
Thankfully, Winter was very kind this year with no heavy snow, ice or extreme cold temperatures to cause damage to the garden or nursery.
Head gardener David Swanton said: “The warmer Winter we experienced this year allowed us to keep busy in the gardens throughout the colder months. We’ve done many annual jobs, such as pruning and tying-in all the climbers throughout the garden, but we’ve also made some changes that should make a real difference to people’s visit.
“In the Wilderness woodland we’ve removed Rhododendron Ponticum in order to open up the magnificent views of the surrounding countryside and castle. We’ve also split and cut back many of our Yew hedges throughout the garden in a continuing programme of renewal for the plants. Although cutting them so far back may look extreme, it is common practice when hedges become overgrown and they’ll soon grow back better and stronger than ever.”
The spring is always a real joy to behold at Powis Castle where everything is so fresh and green.
The Magnolias are freely flowering throughout the garden and courtyard, including the magnificent Campbelliis in the woodland and the Soulangeanas on the terraces. Fritillaries’, Leucojums, Erythroniums and Primroses fill the banks and Narcissus pseudonarcissus (the Welsh Daffodil) are thriving in the paddock that was once part of the original water garden.
Looking forwards over the next few weeks, visitors can expect to see the beautiful Wisteria Floribunda draping its beautiful pea like flowers on the Aviary Terrace and the tropical effect border on the Top Terrace will be fully planted out ready for a spectacular summer show.
All of the tender perennials used in the gardens have been over-wintered or propagated from our own on site glasshouses, which also provides plants from the garden for visitors to buy.
- Powis Castle began life as the medieval fortress of the Welsh princes of Powys, who held onto their kingdom despite the threats of their more powerful neighbours in Gwynedd and England.
- In 1587, Powis was sold to Sir Edward Herbert who created the romantic long gallery which is richly decorated with the coats of arms of his ancestors.
- The first Marquess of Powis was forced into exile in 1668 due to his loyalty to the deposed King James II.
- In 1784, the marriage of Lady Henrietta Herbert and Edward Clive, son of Robert Clive, the conqueror of India, combined the Powis and Clive estates.
- In the early 20th Century, the 4th Earl of Powis and his wife, Lady Violet, redecorated much of the castle and brought the garden back to life, introducing new varieties from all over the world.