Members & their Greenhouses
Ian Rhys Williams
   Ian has been growing begonias for five years and has been showing for the last two. He is located in Glynneath, South Wales, and he is one of a few NBS members in South Wales but he is certainly putting the area on the map again.   

    Receiving an invitation to visit Ian, a posse of us set forth along the M.4, over the Severn Bridge, to visit.  The journey commenced in pouring rain along the M.4. (typical summer weather), that was until we turned off and journeyed up The Vale of Neath where the rain diminished and the clouds lifted. This enable us to view the crystal clear River Neath (Afon Nedd) that meanders through the meadows and also the two lakes are situated in the valley named, Llyn Fach and Lyn Fawr (Large and Small lakes).
    Arriving at Ianís, with a brief sojourn to the car park of Glynneath Rugby Club, to ask the way, within minutes we were there. We were greeted with a snack of Welsh Cakes that Ianís wife, Dorothy, had baked for us the previous evening. Most welcome.

   Ian grows his plants for blooms in two greenhouses 12í x 8íand 10í x 6í. The greenhouses are at the bottom of delightful and well maintained garden with a backdrop of a mountain named Craig-y-Llyn (Rock of the Lakes). As a result, one problem that he experiences is great and sudden variances of temperatures from time to time.
   When we visited it was some 16 days before the National and of course Ian was keeping his fingers crossed that the weather would improve and the light intensity would bring the blooms on. That being said some of the blooms were looking good and there were high hopes that he would have a good selection to journey up to Birmingham in a couple of weeks time. Last year Ian took top awards in both the Novice and Intermediate Classes and hopes to improve even further this year. Incidentally, the plants are grown in Singletonís compost that Ian had consigned down from the North.
  Ian is always willing to welcome visitors, by arrangement of course. Close by is the village of Pontneddfechan, which is situated in The Brecon Beacons National Park where there are a number of waterfalls within a short stroll of Ianís including Sgwd Yr Eira (Waterfall of the Snow) and Sgwd Gwladus (Lady Falls). Well worth a visit, but due to the inclement weather we had to decline. Perhaps next time?

L to R; Tony Willoughby, Basil Billinger, Don Dewey

Greenhouses with
Craig-y-Llyn in distance

Large greenhouse 2 weeks before Show

Made it!
2 days before Show

View of large greenhouse

View of small greenhouse.

Overspill in arbour

Cutting tubers


Love affair

Beryl Rhodes


Pictures and text by Basil Billinger  August 2007

Ian gained 2 firsts and 2 thirds in the cut-bloom classes at the National Show  2007