The main entrance is through the pair of simple wooden gates opposite the Samye Ling Cafe. The view is due south with trees on both sides of the valley and the hills in the distance. The Garden can broadly be divided into four areas, i.e. the Old Herb Garden, the Nursery, the Mandala Garden and finally the Walled Gardens.
The path begins between two hedgerows and emerges into a small open area in front of what was until recently the Old Greenhouse. This will probably be a building site for a few years yet. In the background towards the river is the black Back Shed. Opposite here is the Old Herb Garden comprising a brickwork pattern of small beds with a variety of indigenous herbs.

Carry on through the gateway and you come to the Nursery. The main avenue goes straight up the middle between two rows of clipped box balls over low rockeries covered with a purple stonecrop. Around the corner on the left is the Old Shed constructed of railway sleepers. On the right is the recently renovated Peach House which abuts the Oakhouse next to the road. In the middle is a stone well head planted with a young amalancier tree. There are substantial cold frames, tables of plants for sale and seats for visitors to sit quietly. The southerly vista is straight down the valley and in the distance is the golden Chenresig statue at the centre of the Mandala garden.

The entrance to the Mandala garden is an uneven pair of rather pleasing timber gates which in due course will be worthy of a couple of sturdy stone pillars. When the paths were laid and the hedges were first planted there seemed to be plenty of room, but now these have grown into thick hedgerows there is the feeling that the paths are a little cramped. Pass through the gate and on your left you come to the new Cacti House now approaching completion. In the opposite corner is the stone terracing of the sundial garden with a secluded south facing bench with a roof to keep dry in the rain.  There is a dry stone wall circle and a sundial plinth in the middle. Pathways have been laid out radiating from the centre and these have been planted with herbaceous perennials including melancholy thistle, double buttercup, geranium procurrens, sedum spectabile, fringed wormwood, sanguisorba caucasica and purple plantain. This secluded spot is surrounded by an established curved hedge.

The two paths meet again behind the beech hedge at the entrance to the Walled Gardens. Here there is an open courtyard with a few benches to sit on and soak up the atmosphere. To the right is the Alpine House also currently under construction. It is only now that the ruins can begin to be seen in all their medieval glory with the row of arches giving cloistered views of interesting places further on. The east room is now almost completely enclosed and is just awaiting the stonework which will feature a series of blind windows and a quirky doorway leading into the small copse. The southern wall is slowly edging towards the road and the west room now has a square lawn, only proving that every good kitchen garden needs a few decent areas of green grass. The way eventually leads to the Tara Garden. 

(Note: In most internet browsers you can right click on the image above and select the option to view it in a new tab in order to see a larger version it.)

Click here to gain an understanding of the soil conditions of the Garden.