The 50 acre site of Clyne Gardens at Blackpill was formerly the estate of the Vivian family. The gardens were started in 1860 by the industrialist Graham Vivian and his nephew Algernon was responsible for the glorious collection of Rhododendrons and Azaelas for which the gardens are nationally famous.
Clyne Castle now serves as a hall of residence for the University College of Swansea and lucky students spend an unforgettable sojourn there.
In 1952 the gardens were acquired by Swansea City Council and opened to the public the following year. The council’s policy of extending the collection of plants ensures that the gardens are a continuing source of interest for the visitors.
The painting features the lower valley of the gardens and beyond the Rhubarb-like leaves of the magnificent Gunnera Manicata, which can grow to 6 ft in diameter, can be seen some of the Rhododendrons, Irises and candelabra Primulas of the bog garden.
Copyright Rita Mitchell Studio 1993
This painting was originally published in ‘Swansea and Gower in Watercolour’ one of my annual calendar publications’ Fine art prints are available.
Here is another calendar painting. I was fortunate enough to live in Swansea for three years and was able to paint the beautiful Gower Peninsular in Wales. I have nearly three hundred paintings on my computer from my art publishing business.
Mumbles, at the Western end of Swansea Bay, marks the gateway to Gower. It is here that Oystermouth’s Norman Castle presides over the village. From the castle there are splendid views of Swansea Bay and the well known Mumbles Islets with the forever active lighthouse warning of the dangers on the rocks.
In Victorian times, Mumbles was a popular resort sporting a railway around the bay which was the first passenger railway in the world. The track is now an area dedicated to walkers and cyclists and provides an unbroken path from Swansea marina to the Mumbles pier.
The watercolour was painted from the steps of the Ostreme Centre where a thriving programme of arts and crafts and general community activities continue throughout the year. The gardens, tendered by Percy Sanders, and the beautifully situated houses provide a perfect foreground for the Castle.