Geraint Hughes

Gardener, Colby Woodland Garden

Geraint Hughes - Gardener

Meet one of our gardeners as he shares his top tips for your visit to Colby Woodland Garden, plus an insight into his role and favourite place in Pembrokeshire.

Gardener Geraint Hughes

What does your role involve?

My role as a gardener varies from day to day. It can involve anything from mowing and weeding to survey work on our woodland and I’ve even been known to get the paint brush out every now and then!

The Colby Estate covers nearly 900 acres and includes coast, farmland, woodland and of course the main garden, so I am never short of things to do. The day to day running of the garden is my main task and where my passion lies. I can often be found tending to recently planted trees and shrubs and I’m more than happy to share the stories of the plants and history of the garden with those willing to listen.

What do you enjoy about working for the National Trust? 

I love my job here at Colby Woodland Garden. Being able to see the garden evolve not only through the seasons, but also over the years is something very special and a thing I cherish. I feel honoured to be able to add my contribution to the garden like so many have done before. 

Do you have a favourite place in Pembrokeshire?

Pembrokeshire has some truly beautiful spots, many of them managed by the National Trust, but my favourite spot has to be Ty Canol Woods near Newport. It is one of the last remaining truly ancient areas of woodland to be found in not just Wales but the whole of the UK. It has over 400 types of lichen including many rare forms and the best bit is hardly anyone goes there... a true gem of Wales.

Geraint's top 3 things to see and do at Colby Woodland Garden

  1. Natural play – Build a den, light a fire or swing across the stream, it’s easy to do these things and more at Colby. I never tire of hearing the sounds of laughter as people forget about the trials of modern living and relax in the meadow or cool down in the shade of some wonderful trees.
  2. A good old walk – With over 27km of footpaths on the Colby Estate a good walk is easy. A favourite of mine is to walk up the Rose Haggard and past the old gardeners cottage (Rose Cottage, now a holiday home you can stay at) along the stream edge. You then head up to the old dam that once helped power the mining that made Colby famous, then up and around Little Craig-y-Borion and through some of our wonderful wildflower meadows. 
  3. Early mornings – Come early during the summer months and find a spot to sit on one of the stepping stones in the stream. Birds such as the house martin choose to summer here and once they get used to you, they will come surprisingly close at some amazing speeds to catch the flies that swarm over the river.
Early morning at Colby Woodland Garden
An early morning view at Colby
Early morning at Colby Woodland Garden