Dyffryn's Arboretum revival
Autumn 2016 marked the beginning of a five year project to protect the beautiful, unique and rare specimen trees we have in our Arboretum.
Why is our Arboretum important?
The tree planting history at Dyffryn dates back around 250 years to the mid eighteenth century. Some of these ornamental trees can still be seen today, particularly the Lucombe oak on the Archery lawn which we think dates back over 400 years.
From 1906 to 1930 Reginald Cory and Thomas Mawson continued to develop, enhance and extend Dyffryn's gardens and in particular its woody plant collection. It is during this period that much of the Arboretum was established, with a collection of exotic and ornamental trees, shrubs and bamboos (running into hundreds) being carefully laid out beneath and within protective shelterbelts of over-storey trees and evergreen shrubs.
Why does it need work?
The fortunes of the garden and in particular the Arboretum have ebbed and flowed. There were periods of neglect interpersed with various gardeners adding to Cory's original plant collection.
In 1997 the Vale of Glamorgan Council purchased Dyffryn and secured £3.25 million. Both grants have enabled much of the garden, including Mawson's original garden rooms, the walled garden and glasshouses to be restored, although to date relatively little investment has been put into the Arboretum.
Although today it looks a little ramshackle and overgrown it contains one of the best woody collections in the National Trust. The aim of the project is to protect the important trees and shrubs that are already growing there and removing those that hinder their survival.
What's the plan?
We have secured funding for a five year project to revive the Arboretum to the glory it deserves. We will be focusing on one section of the Arboretum each year, opening up overgrown spaces, clearing areas around our important trees and propagating from those that are reaching the end of their lifetime.
The Kennel Bank
We have cleared the kennel bank of the old planting schemes, this included larget amounts of heather. This is part of a wider project to restore the north part of the estate back to its original parkland setting. This involves returning it to meadow, which also helps increase the biodiversity of the gardens.