I’ve been told often enough now. That tree has to go and major reworking done. Most notable of the commentators is  Rory Stuart in his book What are Gardens For?, who described the ‘formal avenue of top-worked Corylus colurna‘ which ‘disappointingly,..leads nowhere.’

Then I received an email from a recent visitor, Catharine Howard who said ‘Below the house there is an alley of trees leading to a large hedge – there seemed to be nothing in the sight line and I found myself wishing to fight with the hedge as my eye was drawn to it.  Did I miss something?’

View into the Meadow and avenue of Corylus colurna through the Hornbeam Tunnel. Cotinus on right. Veddw House, Monmouthshire. May 2008

Path with a dead end.

They are both right, and they are not the first. Stephen Anderton told us the same, some years ago. And I’ll tell you one thing that is very interesting here. Lots of people when considering the idea of garden criticism dismiss it saying ‘it’s all just a matter of taste‘, implying that everyone will have different responses to gardens according to their taste. (or perhaps, lack of it?)

But the criticisms that we have had of Veddw (apart from Clive Nichols uniquely and understandably telling us to get rid of the house) have picked out the same weaknesses repeatedly.  I have found the same with criticisms of other gardens too. (see the several reviews of the Laskett, for example)

So, why haven’t I done anything about this problem??!!

It’s this tree. Totally now in the wrong place, but it took ages to grow and it blazes away in the autumn.

Maple November Veddw Copyright Anne Wareham s.jpg

Got To Go

This is its final autumn. When it sheds its leaves someone will take a chain saw and cut it down to the ground. And we will clear a space behind it and make a small path to a new seat. With a view back up the meadow.

Will this work? I hope so – I have always regretted not having a seat with a view of the meadow. I have one doubt – will that reproduce the problem, just further back, by still creating a ‘stop’ to the path?

Any thoughts?


View up the Meadow, Veddw copyright Anne Wareham on Veddw blog

The view we will have from the seat. More calls to get rid of the house?

See also ‘The Bars of a Prison’ for previous response to Rory’s appraisal of Veddw.


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