About Us
 
Jim Acres came from London, hard working, and skilled with metal and wood. He is a creative genius, an original thinker, brilliant at customising, and realising the potential in what others discard. He came to Wales in1974, looking for the space and freedom in which he could realise his own potential.
I, Gay Acres, was born and raised in Zambia, then trained in London as a physiotherapist. I came to Wales in 1978, looking for an affordable,  peaceful and beautiful place in which to raise a family. I too am hard working, with a passion for gardening, and a keen student of the skills Jim is so good at teaching.
To most people, Bwlch y Geuffordd in 1974 was most unpromising. It consisted of 9 acres of bleak, windswept moorland bog at 1,000 feet. There were a handful of mature trees, the meagre remains of a roofless, derelict stone cottage, and nothing else. There was no access road, no fences, no shelter from the bitter winter winds, no water, no electricity, no telephone, no sanitation. The "soil" was peaty water over white clay, capable of growing nothing but rushes. But there was space and freedom, and it was affordable. We discovered recently that a neighbouring farmer had previously been offered the property for the princely sum of £100, and, luckily for us, he declined it.
Jim's first tasks were to put in a road, buy a caravan, find a job and build a house. By 1986 the house was almost complete, so we planted a couple of thousand trees to give us shelter and improve the land. A man from the Countryside Commission came out to give us advice, and he said the land was so wet that the only trees that would survive would be alder and native willow, and some parts were too wet even for those, so we had better dig a pond.
The family enjoyed the pond so much, that it became the centre of the new garden. Every year we added more features, whole new sub gardens, and now the gardens fill 3 acres.
 
We have put such a massive effort into creating these gardens, that we love to share them - that is what makes all the effort worthwhile - seeing the pleasure on the faces of our visitors.

We first opened for the National Gardens Scheme in 2002, and the enthusiasm and pleasure expressed by our visitors has spurred us on to create more and more.
Initially we had 2 open days a year, but they were difficult. We tended to get too many people all turning up at the same time,  and our car park couldn't cope with the volume. We decided to drop the open days, and be open all the time instead. The National Gardens Scheme organiser for our area was sceptical. Nobody would come, she said.
We are determined to prove her wrong.
And people are coming, singly, in families, and in groups.

 
We have put such a massive effort into creating these gardens, that we love to share them. That is what makes all the effort worthwhile - seeing the pleasure on the faces of our visitors.