The gardens are perhaps the best-kept secret at St Fagans. From the formal gardens of the upper classes to the cottage gardens that provided food for working families, the gardens provide a real insight into the lives of Welsh people throughout history.
The gardens complement the Museum's historic buildings in their interpretation of the past, with teams of garden conservators and gardeners being responsible for developing and maintaining them. Each garden on the 40 hectare site, from the designed Rosery to the smallest informal cottage garden, is an integral part of the Museum's collections, and has its own story to tell.
The formal gardens surrounding St Fagans Castle were once the sanctuary of the Earl of Plymouth and his family, who used the house as their summer home. The gardens are approached from the village via a pleached lime avenue and include the exquisite Rosery, the Italian Garden and the elegant parterre and castle terraces overlooking the mediaeval fishponds.
The domestic gardens around the re-erected houses on site echo domestic horticultural development from the 16th century to the present day. These gardens reflect the social status of the buildings' inhabitants, with historically-correct plants and gardening techniques outside, echoing the furnishings inside, from the age and original locality of the buildings to which they belong.
No other museum reflects the changing seasons as closely as St Fagans, and the gardens are certainly no exception. Throughout the year, staff may be seen at work interpreting in the gardens and are available to answer any questions.
The garden staff also offer special drop-in sessions throughout the year, demonstrating seasonal gardening tasks.