Cowbridge Physic Garden
A major achievement of the South & Mid Glamorgan Branch of the Welsh Historic Gardens Trust has been the creation of the Cowbridge Physic Garden which is now a prestige visitor attraction in the Vale of Glamorgan.
In 2003 the then newly-elected chairman of the Branch, Dan Clayton Jones, put forward his vision of creating a physic garden within a neglected, walled site opposite the former Grammar School in the heart of Cowbridge. That school’s long association with Jesus College, Oxford, and the formal gardens which are a feature of many Oxford colleges, were the inspiration for our chairman’s plans which he challenged his committee to implement. The challenge was accepted, and over the next twelve months plans were drawn up, sources of funding explored, negotiations opened to secure the site, and individual Branch committee members charged with specific responsibilities. In 2004 the Cowbridge Physic Garden Trust was formed, drawing in members of the wider community but with the continuing heavy involvement of the WHGT Branch.
In 2003 the site of the garden was a neglected wilderness of rows of spindly trees and an impenetrable undergrowth of brambles and litter. Clearance of the site began early in 2005, landscaping and construction work started later that year and was completed by the following summer when planting began.
The garden was opened to the public while planting was still in progress, and over the next two years the garden came to life thanks to the dedication of volunteers. In June 2008 the Cowbridge Physic Garden was officially opened by HRH the Duchess of Cornwall and in 2009 she agreed to become the Patron of the garden.