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RHS Announces Winning Partner Garden of the Year 2022

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is delighted to announce that Nant y Bedd, a small nature-friendly garden within the Brecon Beacons National Park in Monmouthshire, Wales, has been voted overall winner in the RHS Partner Garden of the Year Competition 2022.

Lovingly created by Sue and Ian Mabberley and perfectly encompassing the ‘Feel Good’ theme of the competition, Nant y Bedd captured the hearts of voters with its tranquillity and natural elements. Located high up in the Black Mountains, the garden is intended to blend into its surroundings, featuring a natural swimming pond, potager and edible forest garden.

The winners said: “The garden at Nant y Bedd has been Sue’s passion for the past 42 years, so this award is a tremendous recognition of her patience and vision. Nant y Bedd has always been a place where garden and nature live hand-in-hand. To the people who voted for us, we send huge thanks.”

Voting is done by RHS members and garden visitors. One visitor to Nant y Bedd commented: “It follows its own laws of nature to culminate in a bountiful and exciting setting where one can observe not just plants, but also animals, the ripples in water, the weather and the scents on the fresh air.”

Another said: “One is so aware of nature being all around with the sound of the river, birdsong and wildflowers.” Many voters also admired the eco-friendly gardening methods used at Nant y Bedd.

Nant y Bedd was selected from six regional finalists after visitors chose their favourite gardens in each of six regions. The regional winners were:

  • Midlands and East Anglia: Fullers Mill, West Stow, Suffolk
  • North and Northern Ireland: Holehird Gardens, Windermere, Cumbria
  • Overseas: Arboretum Kalmthout, Kalmthout, Belgium
  • Scotland: Dunvegan Castle Gardens, Skye, Scotland
  • South-East and Channel Islands: The World Garden, Lullingstone Castle, Kent
  • South West and Wales: Nant y Bedd, Powys, Wales

Helen Feary, RHS Partner Gardens Manager, said: “We are very pleased that the RHS Partner Garden of the Year competition continues to grow. The winning garden, Nant Y Bedd in Wales, is described by its owners as a ‘wild and tame garden’ and this reflects the trend towards more naturalistic gardening, as seen at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show, where the ‘Best in Show’ garden had a rewilding theme. All the winners this year were again small to medium gardens, lovingly cared for by their owners and staff, and a source of inspiration, peace and joy according to the many visitors.”

Details of the 2023 RHS Partner Garden of the Year competition and how to vote will be revealed next spring. There are currently 206 gardens in the RHS Partner Gardens scheme, which allows RHS Members to visit non-RHS gardens for free at selected times of the year. They comprise some of the most famous gardens in the world as well as privately-owned hidden gems, and beyond the UK can be found in 8 countries across the globe, including Barbados, Japan and South Africa.

To find out more about RHS Partner Gardens, visit: www.rhs.org.uk/partnergardens

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