Pleasure Garden Borders

Historically, the Pleasure Garden had the following borders: Herbaceous, Ty Draw Road, Alder Road, Roath Park House and the Bowling Green Borders. There was also ornamental flower and shrub planting in the lawn on the Ninian Road side of the Pleasure Garden. Some of the notable plants in the borders were listed in the Cardiff Council Horticultural Database (2003-2010) and these are shown in blue text below.[1] Plants listed in the Horticultural Database that are known to have survived to March 2018 have been coloured pink. Other notable plants present in 2018 appear in black text.

Herbaceous Border
This border is at the south east end, near the Alder Road / Ty Draw Road entrance. Historically it was a special feature of the Pleasure Garden, containing a variety of interesting herbaceous plants. As a herbaceous border it was last cleared and replanted in the 1990s and contained a splendid group of Beschorneria yuccoides. In autumn 2017 the border was cleared and in 2018 it was planted with Cornus. Towards its south east end are some young trees including three Gleditsia triacanthos.

The Cardiff Council Horticultural Database recorded the following plants in this border:
Agapanthus campanulatus, Allium giganteum, Aquilegia 'William Guiness', Aruncus dioicus, Asphodeline lutea, Azara microphylla, Beschorneria yuccoides, Camassia leichtleinii, Cimicifuga simplex (now Actaea simplex), Cortaderia selloana, Diospyros kaki, Elaeagnus umbellata, Eryngium x tripartitum, Euonymus japonicus 'Ovatus Aureus', Garrya elliptica, Hedychium densiflorum 'Assam Orange', Hemerocallis cultivars including 'Stella de Oro', Hibiscus syriacus, Lavatera x clementii 'Kew Rose', Leymus arenarius, Ligularia dentata 'Desdemona', Lysimachia ciliata 'Firecracker', Magnolia grandiflora 'Exmouth', Molinia caerulea 'Altissima', Monarda didyma 'Cambridge Scarlet', Osmanthus delavayi, Osteospermum, Paeonia 'Kelway's Magnificent', Paeonia 'Kelways Magnificent', Physalis alkekengii, Ruta graveolens 'Jackman's Blue', Tradescantia virginiana, Verbascum chaixii 'Album', Verbascum olympicum 'Arctic Summer', Verbascum thapsus, Verbena bonariensis, Viburnum plicatum 'Mariesii', Viburnum x burkwoodii and Yucca gloriosa.

Herbaceous border

Pleasure Garden Herbaceous border (c.2003-2010)
© Cardiff Parks Service

Ty Draw Road Border
This border runs alongside Ty Draw Road and stretches from the tennis courts to the north easterly entrance. Historically it was planted with dense shrubs and specimen trees, some of which are still present. Cytisus battandierii (Pineapple broom) was a feature, planted at intervals along the border to create a sweet pineapple scent. The border was largely cleared in two stages in 2010 and 2012,[2] owing to the presence of vigorous woody weeds such as Sycamore, Ash, Bramble and Dogwood (Cornus sanguinea). It was replanted with a combination of bulbs, shrubs and trees. At the north east end several of the young trees were donated by Vicky Smith.

The Cardiff Council Horticultural Database recorded the following plants in this border: Zabelia triflora, Cedrus deodara, Chaenomeles speciosa, Choisya ternata, Cornus capitata, Cotoneaster 'John Waterer', Cytisus battandierii, Ilex aquifolium 'Golden Queen', Ilex pernyi, Olearia macrodonta, Osmanthus heterophyllus, Tilia tomentosa and Viburnum rhytidiophyllum.

Other notable plants present in this border in 2018, some planted since the Horticultural Database was compiled, are Cornus mas, Prunus Okame, Quercus x turneri and Ulmus minor.

Alder Road Border
This border is immediately north west of Alder Road and extends from the boundary railings to the footpath which runs parallel with Alder Road as far as Roath Brook. Historically this was a shrub border but became shadowed by the mature trees on Alder Road such that the plants did not grow well. It was completely cleared in the 1980s and replanted, after which it contained plants such as Iberis sempervirens, Hellebores and Cowslips as well as shrubs, including: Berberis gagnepainii, Danae racemosa and Mahonia aquifolium 'Heterophylla'.

The Cardiff Council Horticultural Database recorded the following plants in this border: Anemone nemorosa, Carpinus betulus 'Pyramidalis', Daphne laureola, Euphorbia amygdaloides 'Robbiae', Hamamelis mollis 'Pallida', Iberis sempervirens, Lonicera x purpusii 'Winter Beauty', Matteuccia struthiopteris, Polygonatum multiflorum, Polystichum setiferum, Primula veris, Sarcococca ruscifolia, Smilacina racemosa, Tellima grandiflora and Verbascum chaixii 'Album'

Other notable plants present in this border in 2018 include Quercus dentata 'Pinnatifida' (donated by Vicky Smith) and Maytenus boaria.

Roath Park House Border
This border stretches from the north west entrance to the Pleasure Garden, along Ninian Road to Roath Park House and then turns north east along the edge of Roath Park House. Historically it was a shrub border fronted by herbaceous and seasonal bedding plants. It has changed shape to include most of the former vegetable garden of Roath Park House. The present day planting dates almost entirely from the Ystradyfodwg and Pontypridd (Y & P) Sewer works c.2000 but the Cotoneaster frigidus predates that work.

The Cardiff Council Horticultural Database recorded the following plants in this border: Anemone hupehensis 'Splendens', Anemone x hybrida 'Honorine Jobert', Aralia elata, Aucuba japonica 'Variegata', Buddleja davidii 'Harlequin', Callicarpa bodinieri f. giraldii 'Profusion', Cotoneaster frigidus, Cotoneaster lacteus, Escallonia rubra f. macrantha, Galtonia candicans, Garrya elliptica, Hemerocallis cultivar, Laburnum x watereri 'Vossii', Lamium maculatum 'Beacon Silver', Ligularia dentata 'Desdemona', Ligularia stenocephala 'The Rocket', Quercus frainetto 'Hungarian Crown' and Smilacena racemosa.

Other notable plants present in this border in 2018, planted at the time of the Y & P sewer works in the park, include Cercis siliquastrum (Judas tree), Koelreutia panniculata (Golden rain tree), Fatsia japonica (Japanese aralia) and Stachyurus praecox.

Stachyurus praecox

Stachyurus praecox in a Roath Park House Border March 2018

Hebe Border
This was part of Fairoak Bowling Green Border. In the 1970s it was planted with Dahlias, which were replaced by Hebes in the mid 1980s. The Horticultural Database shows that it contained:
Berberis gagnepainii 'Fernspray', Chimonanthus praecox, Cornus controversa, Corylus maxima 'Purpurea', Daphne x burkwoodii 'Albert Burkwood', Deutzia gracilis, Fuchsia magellanica, Fuchsia magellanica 'Ricartonii', Hebe 'Great Orme', Prunus (incisa x campanulata) 'Okame', Prunus lusitanica and Viburnum carlesii.

There is a planting diagram showing the design of the Hebe Border created by David Hopkins in the late 1980s. Some Hebes were short-lived but the larger forms remain and there are also two small half-moon shaped areas containing seasonal bedding.

Fairoak Bowling Green Border, south east
From the Horticultural Database for the Bowling Green Borders, these plants were known to be in this border: Elaeagnus pungens 'Maculata', Hypericum calicynum, Salvia officanalis 'Icterina', Viburnum carlesii 'Aurora', Jasminum humile 'Revolutum', Kerria japonica, Olearia x scilloniensis, Rubus cockburnianus 'Golden Vale' and Symphoricarpus albus f. laevigatus. In March 2018 the border also included Hebe brachysiphon.

Fairoak Bowling Green Border, south west
The border is on the south west side of the Roath Park bowling green, beside the footpath. From the Horticultural Database, these plants were known to be in this border: Elaeagnus pungens 'Maculata', Hypericum calicynum. In March 2018 the border also included: Broussonetia papyrifera, Phlomis fruticosa, Mahonia aquifolium 'Heterophylla', Cotoneaster dammeri, Sarcococca hookeriana var. digyna and Skimmia japonica 'Formanii'.

Fairoak Bowling Green Border, north east
In the 1980s there was a bedding display along this boundary, but from c.1990 many such displays were removed from Cardif's parks. In the era of local authority Compulsary Competive Tendering (CCT) they were too expensive and labour-intensive to maintain. This border was initially replaced by a Philadelphus hedge, which grew too tall, and was itself replaced by the present Fuchsia hedge.

North East border of the Fairoak Bowling Club c.1985 © John Lee

Fairoak Bowling Green, north east border
c.1985  ©John Lee

North East border of the Fairoak Bowling Club July 2019

Fairoak Bowling Green, July 2019

Roath Park Bowling Green Border, south west
From the Horticultural Database for the Bowling Green Borders, these plants were known to be in this border: Cotoneaster 'Rothschildianus', Iberis sempervirens, Liriodendron tulipifera, Salvia officanalis 'Icterina', Viburnum carlesii 'Aurora'. In March 2018 the border also included: Daphne odora 'Aureo-marginata', Griselinia littoralis 'Variegata', Ribes saguineum and Brachyglottis 'Sunshine'.

Ninian Road Lawn
This stretch of lawn between Ninian Road and the main footpath included ornamental flower and shrub beds.

The Rose Garden July 2019

Ninian Road Lawn c.1985 © John Lee

The Rose Garden July 2019

Ninian Road Lawn c.1985 © John Lee

Sources of Information.

Much of the information on this page has been provided by Terry Davies.

  1. Cardiff Council Horticultural Database (2003-2010) compiled by Terry Davies when he was Horticultural Officer for the Cardiff Parks Service
  2. Personal communication (RJ) and (JH)