Glyn Bach once belonged to the nearby Gilfach Slate Quarry and the house was divided into two small properties, one for the Estate Manager and one for the Estate Foreman.
The house is immediately surrounded by wide slate and stone walls which incorporate about 2 acres of cultivated garden. This, in turn, is surrounded by 4 acres of woodland, scrub, bog and a large pond. The garden includes outcrops of slate and bluestone (the famous 'Stonehenge' bluestone)
Birdlife is plentiful and visitors have included a Ring Ouzel, Blackcap, Whitethroat and Spotted Flycatchers. Residents include Tawny Owls, Greater Spotted Woodpeckers, Marsh Tits, various Warblers, Treecreepers and Nuthatches.
Reptiles include Grass Snakes, Palmate Newts, Lizards, Toads and Frogs.
This whole garden is intended as a refuge for wildlife so has been planted sympathetically, in both the cultivated and uncultivated areas, to blend into one harmonious, picturesque and peaceful location.
Glyn Bach Gardens is a haven for wildlife particularly Bats, Bees, Birds and Butterflies
Glyn Bach has many species of Bumble and Solitary Bee which we will continue to monitor and photograph. The garden is well stocked with Monardas which are a favourite plant for the long tongued Bumble Bees, however, we are careful to provide plants and flowers which are attractive to all pollinators.
We also have our own honey bees, which are thriving in the clean air of the Preselli Hills.
Our mission is to provide a safe haven for all wildlife and to provide food and shelter throughout the year by planting wildlife friendly flora.
There are no visible boundaries between garden and countryside. One melds into the other and seasonal displays of flowers include wild bluebells, campion, ragged robin, marsh woundwort, meadowsweet, rosebay willowherb, wood anemone, wild cherry, blackthorn, and much more.
The pond is fed from a spring and is full of wildlife. Again this year the mass exodus of baby toads has been spectacular and has held up our lawn mowing for the last couple of weeks.
To improve habitats we have removed holly, blackthorn and bramble which has infested the woodland and reinstated hazel coppices.
Our experiments with annual flower beds, to see which mixes provided the most oportunities for pollinators over the longest period, have proved that Echium Blue Bedder and Phacelia are invaluable for our bees.
All photos are the property of Glyn Bach Gardens and are copyright protected.
We had to remove 30 douglas fir from the top of the hill to let some light in. These were replaced with a native species shelter belt and a 'butterfly bar'
Some before and after photos....
Photos taken shortly after moving in (Feb 2012) and again in 2018.
To the left, next to the old 'cow shed', was a series of raised vegetable beds. Unfortunately they consisted of old oil soaked railway sleepers and asbestos cement sheets rendering the soil unsuitable for veg. The asbestos was removed and the sleepers covered with clean timber. This area is now used to display Caroles Monarda collection.
The flower beds on the hillside had to be dug with an adze as the soil is very shallow over 'bluestone' and slate.
The 'cow shed' was surrounded with large quantities of slate and rubble. this had to be removed before planting up with tender plants such as Tetrapanax, banana, gingers etc.
All the walls around the house were cleared, some were rebuilt.
A third was planted with alpines, the rest was planted with perennials to give extra hight to the borders. 1000's of bulbs were used but most were eaten by mice and voles. as a result we lowered the wall and used the stone to create 'crevice' beds.
These can be a problem if the crevices are too wide as moles can burrow along them pushing the plants on to the surface. This is remedied by pushing 'stopper' stones into each crevice.
The bulbs are now planted in 'pond pots'.
Monardas may be called 'Bee Balm' but actually their flower tubes are too long for most of our bees to reach the nectar. Fortunately the Buff tailed Bumble bee (above) bites the base of the nectary to access the contents directly. Other bees, including our honey bees, can then use these holes to help themselves to valuable nectar later on in the season.