About the garden
Julie and Stuart Akkermans
Climbing the foothills of the magnificent Cambrian Mountains, this Welsh garden with a Dutch history is a family garden with heart and soul. Not typically British in style, it nevertheless blends comfortably into the rolling Welsh hills. A pioneer in blending the wild with the cultivated, Cae Hir embraces Welsh poppies, red campion, wild garlic, bedstraw and many other wildflowers and native plants. These are scattered freely among swathes of herbaceous perennials, specimen trees and botanical rarities to great effect. This planting is punctuated throughout by local slate stonework used in innovative as well as more traditional ways.
At Cae Hir, the natural meets the formal and riotous planting meets structure and form. This is a garden not just for plant lovers, but also for design enthusiasts. Indeed, Cae Hir was designed with a flair of expression unhampered by design or planting ‘rules’. “I just did what I liked,” is a phrase often used by Wil Akkermans, the garden’s designer, who had no formal training in design or horticulture. It is an ethos similarly embraced by his son Stuart. They stem from a long line of Dutch nurserymen and are blessed with inherited green fingers.
Cae Hir was designed as a whole, not a series of gardens or rooms. The beds and borders flow into each other with graceful yet masculine ease, providing visitors with sudden views and secret glimpses of the garden and surrounding countryside as they meander and explore. Always surprising, constantly evolving, Cae Hir blends the formal and informal into a surprising, cohesive yet unpredictable whole. It is a true gem in the Welsh countryside.