Have you ever wondered what lies beyond the walls and hedges of St Davids, Britain’s smallest city? Well, wonder no more! This weekend, on the 24th & 25th of June, the St Davids Open Gardens event is taking place at Penrhiw Priory and in the gardens of St Davids, offering a unique opportunity to discover the enchanting gardens tucked away in this picturesque corner of Wales.

Penrhiw Priory is the definition of tranquillity nestled in acres of private gardens, enveloped by woodland paths, a river and a meadow. Penrhiw is surrounded by a naturally diverse and wildlife-rich landscape, including the Wildflower Meadow, where you can find flowers typical of traditional hay meadows, such as the yellow pea-like flower of Bird’s-foot trefoil, the purple thistle-like heads of black knapweed, and the cheerful white heads of the oxeye daisy. Parking for Penrhiw is available in the Meadow, which is through a gateway on the right-hand side, approximately 50 metres past Penrhiw Priory’s main entrance. Dogs are welcome on our grounds, on a lead.

The gardens of St Davids vary greatly in size, history, design, and interest. Fortunately, some of the garden owners have graciously agreed to open their gates to the public, allowing visitors to explore their hidden gems while also supporting two important causes: Prostate Cymru and our local community garden, Erw Dewi, also known as Dewi’s Acre. This event serves as a fundraiser for these organizations, ensuring that their valuable work can continue.

St Davids is the first Bee Friendly City in Wales and holds a special place in the hearts of nature enthusiasts. Thanks to the leadership of The Bug Farm, a Pollinator Trail has been developed, adding to the city’s dynamic nature-oriented atmosphere. This weekend’s Open Gardens event further emphasizes the city’s commitment to the environment and its thriving bee population.

As you make your way through the gardens, you’ll have the chance to meet the owners, who will be delighted to welcome you and answer any questions you may have about their plants and gardening techniques. While some gardens will offer refreshments and plant sales, all will extend a warm invitation for you to enjoy their unique spaces. To plan your visit during the Open Gardens Weekend, be sure to check the details for each garden. There is no predefined trail to follow so you can create your own itinerary based on your preferences and the garden descriptions provided by their owners.

The Gardeners’ Market, located in Cross Square, will be a bustling hub of activity during the event. Thanks to the support of St Davids City Community Council, numerous stalls will be set up, offering a variety of plants, flowers, charcoal, and bee products. The Pembrokeshire Friends of Prostate Cymru will be present, promoting their awareness program and highlighting the importance of their cause. Additionally, the local environmental community group, EcoDewi, will be on hand to discuss their projects and how you can get involved. They will also share exciting updates about their collaboration with St Davids Cathedral to create a new community garden, further enhancing the city’s natural beauty.

St Davids Open Gardens is dedicated to demonstrating how gardens can benefit both nature and people. The event encourages the development of wild gardens as well as traditional ones. Gardeners in the city are passionate about attracting birds and insects by providing food stations, watering places, bug hotels, and nesting boxes. By fostering an environment that supports wildlife, they contribute to the ecological balance and create an oasis of tranquillity for all to enjoy.

We are honoured and proud to have Iolo Williams, the renowned naturalist, wildlife TV presenter, and writer, as the Patron of the Open Gardens Weekend. Iolo is best known for his captivating nature programs on BBC and S4C, presented in both Welsh and English. His endorsement speaks volumes about the importance of these events in enhancing St Davids’ natural surroundings and making it a more pleasant place for wildlife and people alike.

So, mark your calendars and join us this weekend for an unforgettable journey through the hidden gardens of St Davids. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, engage with passionate gardeners, and contribute to the noble causes of Prostate Cymru and Erw Dewi. Together, we can make a difference in preserving our natural heritage and creating a thriving community that cherishes its gardens.

Find out all the gardens taking part here. Please note that some gardens have slightly different timings, which will be mentioned in their garden write-up.