1 – 33 Goat Street

John & Julia look forward to you visiting their garden at 33 Goat Street.


Julia & John Mansfield, Old Carpenters Arms, 33 Goat St.

Our house has been many things in it’s existence: a pub – the Carpenters Arms- a hardware store and a museum.

It has a small front garden which was an ugly, awkward car parking area when we bought the house, so after gaining planning permission to ‘remove’ a car parking space from St Davids we walled across the front and found old railings to erect on top and turned it back into a small garden. It’s a treat to have a front garden of any size in St Davids, even though it remains shady most of the day. Many of the plants that grow there were ‘rescued/recycled/nicked’ from the rubbish tip where someone else had dumped them…

Please enter the house through the right hand door. There is no alternative access to the garden at the rear of the house so everyone and everything has to go through the sitting room and kitchen!  Anyone who comes to visit over the Open Gardens’ Weekend will be very welcome to go through the house. We run a seaweed and educational foraging business so there is always drying seaweed hanging from the ceiling in the kitchen.

We have a flag-stoned yard outside the kitchen, where a grape vine that we brought with us from our previous garden does really well, providing us and the thrushes with loads of grapes. This is a pretty good sheltered and sunny area for our trimmed bay trees and olives which are in large pots.

A flight of steps run up from the yard to a flagstoned terrace where we have a large fig tree, also from our smallholding and a fairly recently built a wooden conservatory with doors that open all the way across the front so that we could enjoy the sun (when it appears) but feel the wind. Though we very rarely find time to sit in there at the moment, we look forward to using it more when we become even older!

The garden beyond the next steps and trellis is small, but divided into two areas each with places to sit it gives the impression of being larger. We like garden rooms…

When we arrived here there was a sloping lawn that went from the trees at the top of the garden to a sharply sloping crazy paving area that led to a rickety (in fact dangerous) plank of wood that lead across the top of the shed roof at a lower level to a door into a bedroom.

We dug out the garden and levelled it into the two areas, joined by stone steps. There is no lawn now. The two areas are made up of borders surrounded by Victorian edging tiles and gravel paths

The garden is made up of herbs and plants, including wild varieties, that have a use – for food, drink, medicine, cosmetic, craft or just historical interest. The tallest are bay, medlar and different varieties of elder, one of which I use to make pink elderflower cordial. My children say my gardens have always been predictable, but I console myself that I am at least consistent with one of my passions!

I love topiary and have always introduced it into my previous gardens. Here I have only room for one, a slowly developing peacock in yew, at the top of the garden. This year he has been decapitated, as his neck was looking too long!!

From the garden we enjoy hearing the bells ringing from Porth y Twr, a glimpse of the sea and have a great view of the Cathedral tower and its flag.