While history plays a big part in many of the public gardens of South Wales, there are also modern gardens to visit around here. Veddw House is one of the best, and arguably one of the best in the whole country. It’s less about formal lawns and classical statuary than innovative and dramatic use of colour, modern shapes and designs, and a refreshing willingness to allow the slightly wild to have a place in the garden too. Gently nodding meadow grasses make an attractive contrast to sharply clipped hedges.
Veddw is a modern garden that borrows from formal gardening but isn’t bound by its rules. Imagine perfectly trimmed hedges in purple foliage instead of green, and an orchard where wild orchids grow in the grass, and you’ll have some idea of what to expect.
While not fully landscaped, no discussion of modern gardens in South Wales would be complete without a mention of Parc Taf Bargoed near Trelewis. Once heavily polluted by the adjacent colliery, the wetlands, river, and woods have been fully rehabilitated and are now the habitat for countless wildlife species once more. The clear river ran black just a few decades ago. It’s a superb example of how scientific and aesthetic ideas can work together to create something wonderful from post-industrial space.