Dyffryn Gardens hosted a visit from TRH Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall today to coincide with its dahlia trial centenary.
Prince Charles and The Duchess walked the gardens on a beautifully sunny afternoon and met many of the people who have helped with the fundraising, conservation, research and promotion of Dyffryn Gardens in the past few years.
They were introduced to current National Trust staff, Cardiff Beekeepers’ Association, The Friends of Dyffryn, members of the Heritage Lottery Fund and members of Vale of Glamorgan Council. The visit was a chance to show off the amazing progress made in the past seven years and to celebrate the latest chapter in Dyffryn’s life.
Prince Charles and The Duchess were joined by the Lord Lieutenant and his wife for a tour of the house and gardens at Dyffryn. Since the last royal visit in 2007, major renovation and conservation work has been carried out with significant funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Cllr Neil Moore, Leader of the Vale of Glamorgan Council commented: “Dyffryn is one of the jewels in the Vale’s tourism crown. We found Trust to be the perfect partner to take the house and gardens on the rest of their journey towards excellence as a heritage attraction. The expertise held in the Trust, together with its broad membership and highly respected brand, gave us confidence that Dyffryn and the wider Vale of Glamorgan will see a very substantial growth in visitors as a result of this carefully chosen partnership.”
Dyffryn Gardens has been home to a number of bee hives for several years. With a lot of help from the Cardiff Beekeepers’ Association, honey bees are being attracted to the area to help grow declining populations.
“We are very pleased with how the apiary has established over the years. We have lots of new members keen to learn the craft and we are very grateful to Dyffryn Gardens for the continued partnership with us. The Beekeepers’ Association is growing in success every year”, said Barbara Chick, Apiary Manager of the association.
Pupils from nearby St Nicholas Primary School made colourful butterflies to decorate the borders and presented The Duchess with a bouquet of flowers grown in the gardens. Prince Charles and the Duchess also planted a tree dahlia in the exotics bed of the gardens to commemorate 100 years since the dahlia trials held at Dyffryn Gardens – when 7,000 dahlias were planted in the gardens.
Later in the summer the dahlias planted by their royal highnesses will be in all their glory.
“It has been a fantastic day and I am very proud of the staff and volunteers who helped the visit go so well.’ commented Gerry Donovan, General Manager, Dyffryn Gardens.
“Not only are the gardens looking splendid, we are also celebrating the third year of the new glasshouse and the cacti and orchid collections seem as if they had always been here. It is definitely worth a look.”