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Dyffryn Fernant

Christina Shand's uncompromisingly pink house at Dyffryn Fernant near Fishguard in west Wales, expresses a love of colour woven throughout the equally bold and brilliant garden that unfurls around it.


GAP Photos/Carole Drake/Christina Shand

Feature No:   3756 

Qty of Images:    74 


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In this wild spot between the Preseli Hills and the Pembrokeshire coast she has made a garden that blends ancient and modern, full of intense colour, striking objects and exuberant planting; quite an achievement on a site with little top soil, an abundance of rock, and areas of marsh and bog. When Christina moved here in 1994, looking for somewhere to build a new life with her two young children, a muddy lane lead to the near derelict house standing in land covered with a dense blanket of perennial weeds including bramble, blackthorn and Japanese knotweed. 'I liked the place because of the light and its proximity to the sea', recalls Christina and after spending two years making the house habitable she turned her attention outdoors in 1996. According to Christina 'you haven’t seen a garden if you only walk through it. Sitting down is essential', so there are seats everywhere through the garden, even an improvised swing seat in the form of a wooden bench suspended from the stout limb of an old oak tree. In the bog garden massive stone plinths serve as benches from which to admire new gunnera leaves, magenta Primula pulverulenta and the strange pink flowers of Darmera peltata atop bristly stems, all reflected in an extraordinary stainless steel obelisk. 'Sixteen years ago David and I saw a mirrored obelisk at Chelsea which we loved but we couldn't afford so we worked out how to make something similar. A welder in Splott made it for us. I love the contrast between the modern, clean obelisk and the primitive bog plants around it.'



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