Gerddi Cudd [pronounced Garthi Cuth] is Welsh for the Hidden Garden. The name is apt, for it is well set back from the road that runs between Menai Bridge and Beaumaris. Without the signposts you would miss it. As it is, you walk up a steep drive [Helen pushed the trolley all the way, despite my offering help.] The entrance path on the drive runs between sides abundant in blue hydrangeas and a variety of trees as it leads to the farm,grazed by sheep, that is at the heart of the estate before you reach the walled garden.
The tale of the garden is one of decay, renewal,tempest and refusal to be beaten by the overwhelming power of the elements, which can defeat human constructions, but cannot deny our power to overcome disaster, both as individuals and as a community. The walled garden, which is unusual in that it is to some extent curved rather than rectangular, was established when the Price family created an estate fit for a gentleman out of their lands, emparking certain areas and making a walled garden, which in accordance with the traditions of the time became a home garden, growing fruit and vegetables for the house. When the Price line died out the land was sold on and for a while it was tended by the Fanning Evans family, but when her husband died and she was aging Mrs Fanning Evans tended a corner of the garden for as long as her body was capable, but then she went into easier accomodation and the garden fell into ruin.
In 1997 along came Anthony Tavernor, a Staffordshire farmer, who bought the estate and began to restore it. He began by restoring some old cottages, which would be turned into holiday lets to provide him with an income, and soon he developed a herb garden behind the main house and he planted up an old courtyard. So far, so good. However, recreating a full vegetable garden would have been too labour-intensive and uneconomic, so he went for a fruit and flower garden, and soon it was back to something of its former glory.
Then the floods struck. Water pressure overwhelmed a two hundred year old wall, flooding the garden and destroying many plants. But that did not deter Anthony. He picked himself up and started again. I saw the restored garden and it is beautiful.