Dyffryn Gardens: Summer 2020

When lockdown was in full swing earlier this year, I didn’t think my annual spring/summer visit to Dyffryn Gardens would be possible and fully expected 2020 to be a gap in my annual chronicles. So I was pleasantly surprised when my mother told me Dyffryn Gardens had reopened in early July, following the easing of the lockdown restrictions in Wales.

Blue flowers at Dyffryn Gardens

However, getting tickets for my visit proved no mean feat. Knowing the tickets for the week ahead went on sale every Friday, I logged on to the National Trust website at 9am, only to find myself in a virtual queue for more than an hour. While I’m aware Dyffryn Gardens is a popular local attraction – I hadn’t expected it to be harder to get tickets for than a Mariah or Beyoncé concert!

Dyffryn House

On the day of our visit, we were greeted by a couple of friendly staff members at the entrance who checked off our names and explained the one-way system in place. We entered the site close to Dyffryn House (above), which was still closed to the public, and made our way around to the back of the house.

Leafy green plants line the path at Dyffryn Gardens

The small café adjoining the house was open to visitors, but as it wasn’t long since we’d had breakfast, we decided against popping in, and instead, followed the one-way system to the flower gardens. The gardens were only partially open, but you could still get a sneaky peak at some of the parts that were closed, such as the rose garden below.

The closed rose garden at Dyffryn Gardens

We ambled along the paths, past lots of leafy green plants, until we reached a garden that was full of sweet peas (below). The sweet peas were beautiful, but I found it almost impossible to take a photo that captured how lovely they looked.

Sweet pea garden at Dyffryn Gardens

For the most part, I found it easy to socially distance at Dyffryn Gardens. But some paths were quite narrow and on a couple of occasions we found ourselves stuck behind families who decided the slender paths were the perfect place to stop for a long photoshoot or to mess around.

In these instances, we (and others) were unable to go any further until they moved to somewhere where we could safely pass. It only happened occasionally, but it was frustrating that a few people insisted on ignoring those around them and the safety protocols in place.

Plants in the Italian Gardens at Dyffryn Gardens

From the sweet pea garden, we took a winding route around to the Italian Gardens (above and below). The Italian Gardens are one of my favourite parts of the garden and I was delighted they were partially open. Of the three gardens, only the middle one was open, but I was able to get a glimpse of the other two, which made my day.

The pond in the Italian Gardens at Dyffryn Gardens

The flowers and plants at Dyffryn Gardens seemed wilder and more muted than in previous years, which is hardly surprising given the current circumstances.

There were nevertheless some beautiful flowers and plants, and I rued the fact my plant knowledge was so awful I had no idea what they were. I was particularly taken by the unusual green plant below – so if anyone knows what it is, please let me know in the comments.

An unusual green plant at Dyffryn Gardens

Despite the restrictions in place, it was lovely to be able to do something vaguely normal again after being cooped up indoors and not going any further than five miles for months.

Blackbird at Dyffryn Gardens

From the Italian Gardens, we continued our stroll through the gardens, past a series of trees, shrubs and a curious blackbird (above), until we reached one of the small walled gardens with a sundial at its centre at the far end of the estate (below).

Sundial at Dyffryn Gardens

We spent a little while looking around the garden and its lily ponds, before moving along the path and stopping at what I always refer to as the wildflower meadow. To the other side of the meadow, there was a large lily pond with great views of the house, where we stopped to take photos of the pretty pink lilies (below).

Pale pink water lily at Dyffryn Gardens

We then turned back towards the deserted meadow (below) and walked along the path through its centre, looping around onto the path beside the arboretum, which led past the house and towards the exit.

Wildflower meadow at Dyffryn Gardens

I loved my trip to Dyffryn Gardens, which was made all the more special as I hadn’t expected to be able to visit this year. The gardens were as beautiful as ever and I found myself noticing more and appreciating them more than I have before. I’m lucky to have such splendid gardens so close to home and am delighted I had the opportunity to visit them once again.

Pink flowers at Dyffryn Gardens

If you’re interested in seeing how the gardens were set out in previous years, take a look at my photos from 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.


Dyffryn Gardens, St Nicholas, Vale of Glamorgan CF5 6SU

6 thoughts on “Dyffryn Gardens: Summer 2020

Add yours

  1. Lovely photos! I’m glad you were able to make your annual pilgrimage to Dyffryn Gardens 🙂 I’m also savouring trips further afield so much more after months cooped up at home!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: