The concept of ‘ordinary’ Pentyrch householders opening their gardens to the public began many years ago in 1999. After a visit to the Usk Open Gardens weekend, one Pentyrch villager thought “We could do that!”. She discussed the idea with a friend and together (with unsung backroom support from their long-suffering spouses!) they planned what they thought would be a one-off Open Gardens Weekend. Their initial aim was to raise enough money to buy the land around Pentyrch Village Hall, in order to secure it for the future as the car park for the Hall. That first weekend was a great success. The land for the car park was successfully purchased and money was also raised for the drainage, surfacing and landscaping required.
Since then, Pentyrch Open Gardens has become a significant annual event in the village calendar and has continued with only one break in its history, the Queens Golden Jubilee year. Many enthusiastic villagers have opened their gardens over the years and other villagers, less keen on the gardening front, have helped with the other varied but essential aspects of the whole set up of the Open Gardens weekend. From helping with the catering arrangements, selling admission and raffle tickets, helping with signage, manning the courtesy buses, growing plants for the plant stall or co-ordinating the advertising – there is a job for everyone who wants to be involved.
Our gardens vary from tiny bijou spaces to gardens with stunning views, manicured lawns and formal bedding schemes. There are productive vegetable gardens, traditional cottage gardens, family gardens; almost everything can be found somewhere in the gardens of Pentyrch. The one feature that unites them is their owners’ enthusiasm. We love our gardens and want to share them with you.
After the initial fund raising aims had been met, Pentyrch Open Gardens and its eager participants began to raise money for local charities, projects and groups. Some initiatives improve the local village environment. For example, there are now tubs and hanging baskets which are planted up twice a year and various bulbs have been planted on the approaches to the village. Recently the churchyard of St Catwg’s acquired a bench and a beautiful new planter.