Like the main house, the fourteen acres of gardens at Ynyshir have developed over centuries with each subsequent owner adding a collection of rare and unusual plant and tree species. The oldest tree is an English Oak at the very far corner of the garden which is over 400 years old.
Many of the trees are of a typical Victorian garden including a collection huge Sequoias, commonly referred to as Wellingtonia. Two Sequiuadendron Gigantea (original giant redwoods) and several cultivars reside in the gardens including Glaucum (a blue/gree variety), Barbaris Requium (a pendant), Aureum (upturned branches), Spicata (a compact low growing variety) and a Compactum. An enormous Pinus Nigra (Austrian Black Pine) also was planted and is now over 200 years old.
Queen Victoria is said to have planted the much sought after Persian Ironwood (Parrottia) which is native to the country of Iran and is an incredible specimen. They produce the most vibrant Autumnal hues and provide an attractive centrepiece throughout the year with its twisted branches and unusual bark.
Many of the Rhododendrons and Azaleas are of Victorian planting including the cultivar Rhododendron ‘Cynthia’ which is named after Queen Victoria’s Chancellors’ daughter. They form the most dramatic fuscia coloured blooms in the late Spring to early Summer months.
The Paddock family, Oliver Cross and William Mappin built upon the work during Queen Victoria’s tenure at Ynyshir. Many more Rhododendrons and Azaleas were planted as well as the North American Silk Tassel bush (Garrya Eliptica), a Chilean Leatherwood (Eucyphia) that has honey scented white rose like flowers, a collection of Enkianthus with attractive red striped bell like flowers and an Indian Bean Tree (Catalpa) with large pale green leaves, clusters of flowers and long bean like fruits. Many varities of Pieris, Berberis, Wegelia, Cotoneasters, Hebe,, Aucuba, Viburnum and Chosiia infill the many borders. Tree Heathers (Erica Arboreum) complement the rockery build by William Mappin. The Eucalyptus and Gelditsia Tricanthus Sunburst are relatively new additions but are have a firm foothold as are many rose varieties, lilac bushes, spindle trees and mock orange.
The Magnolias and Camelias are mix of more recent and older plantings and include the rare pendulpous Magnolia Sinenis, the later flowering Magnolia Wilsonii with a lovely musky perfume and the attractive Magnolia Stellata which is the latest addition to the gardens.
The Monkey Puzzle Tree (Araucaria Araucana) and Chilean Flame Tree (Embothrium) which were from the Victorian era have unfortunately been lost but new plants have taken their place by kind donation of previous guests.
A large collection of Hydrangeas, delicate Lace Caps and Mopheads take over from the Spirng flowering Rhododendrons to create a subtler display of deep blues through to mauves, vibrant pinks and differing shades of white. Thousands of bulbs meanwhile create an ever changing show from the snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils and narcissus, tulips, bluebells, cyclamen and fritillaries.
Perennial plants add to the spectacle including Hostas, Astilbes, Eremus Robustus with its striking six foot high flowers, the ancient Asarina Procumbus that resembles a snapdragon with wort like leaves and the amazing skunk cabbage (Lysichitum Americanum), a type of bog arum that flowers in early Spring with vivid yellow spathes growing almost a foot tall and its glossy green leaves growing even taller still.