Garden Tour around GlenMyu Estate

At GlenMyu Estate we find that one of the highlights for our guests is to enjoy a relaxed and informal garden tour around the 5 acre estate.

We are continuously landscaping parts of the estate and we see it as a forever work in progress. It’s enjoyable experimenting with different fruits, vegetables, spices, trees and other plants to see what works in different areas around the land.

Our aim is to reinstate many endemic plants and trees in conjunction with developing a fruit forest. We want to encourage more wildlife to come and live and forage on the land.

Guests enjoying the garden at GlenMyu Estate.

The fruits, vegetables and spices that we grow on the estate are used as ingredients for the dishes Ru serves to our guests. You will see that we have planted all around the 5 acre estate so that the wildlife can eat some of the produce in a peaceful environment.

It’s amazing how quickly some of the plants grow and some of our Avocado, Jackfruit, Clove and  Mango trees have been established over a few years.

We have made pathways around the estate which makes it safe and easy to walk and enjoy the surroundings. There are part of the land which are quite steep so you can get a bit of a workout on your walk during your garden tour.
There are several places to sit, rest and enjoy the surroundings whilst listening to nature provide its’ background music.

A little bit of history to the Land.

GlenMyu Estate was originally part of the much larger Viharaghalla Tea estate and our 5 acres was abandoned many years ago. It was subsequently used as a sugar cane estate. We understand that this ceased when the government started importing cheaper sugar cane making it unviable enterprise for a previous owner of the land.

A lot has changed.

The current owner, Ru (my wife), bought the land almost 20 years ago. It was a real gamble as we could not navigate the 5 acres as it was totally overgrown. It was also raining when we viewed the property and, unprepared for rain, we only ventured in around 200 metres.
Despite not seeing much of the property, the decision was made to go ahead with the purchase, at least to get a foothold in the area.

Although we looked for other lands to buy around the country, something kept bringing us back to Beragala. We eventually fell in love with the area and the search for something better was over.

If you saw the land, overgrown with Guinea Grass (used as cow fodder) and looking like a jungle, you may well have asked “What have you done”.
However Ru felt that the climate, the availability of water and electricity was at least something positive about the land.

There were some large established trees on the land also which were regularly used by monkeys as their playground.

The Climate

What I love about GlenMyu Estate and this little piece of the Hill Country is the climate. Sri Lanka doesn’t have seasons like were experienced in Europe, however it does have 2 monsoon seasons. 

Fortunately for GlenMyu Estate, we are located in a place where we don’t experience the full wrath of either monsoon and are in the Inter-Monsoon area.

It you visit one of the many weather websites you can see that Beragala or Viharagala has an average annual temperature in of 21.3 °C (70.4 °F). The annual rainfall is 1652 mm ( 65.0 inch).

You can see the weather forecast for Beragala at Meteologix or for Viharagala at JustWeather.

Why I love it at GlenMyu Estate!

For me, most of the year is like a reasonable English Summer and I can be in shorts and a t-shirt all year round. We do have some rainier periods (Mid-April until Mid-June and Mid-September until Mid-December) which helps with the garden and the planting we do. 

Climate change however, appears to have had some affect on the normal wetter and drier periods and we can never be certain when the weather will change.

Developing the garden

My wife and I don’t have much experience of developing a garden. And, we certainly didn’t think we were capable of making something that would be of such interest to our guests.

Fortunately, along with the internet and a few books, we have some wonderful neighbours who held our hands part of the way. Some of our neighbours have been living in the area for 40 years, some are botanists and some have developed forests. We fell we are very lucky to have such an abundance of resources and knowledge locally.

The Plant Nurseries (both private and government run) have also been very helpful in providing advice.
There is also a great Ayurvedic Plant Nursery in Haldumulla who supplied many of the endemic plants we are re-introducing to the land.

Also, you will find that the older generation of Sri Lankans have a good knowledge of plants, where they grow and what benefits (including medicinal) they have.

Sometimes nature tells you what you can plant by establishing certain types of trees and plants in the land. We have learnt by trying something in one place and mother nature lets us know whether it will work or not.

Protecting the top soil and securing the slope

As we are in the hill country and there are periods where the rain can be heavy there can be small land slips. One of the most important things we have done is to secure the slopes by planting trees to ensure that the ground has a strong foothold.
One of our neighbours alerted us to creating hedgerows on the land along contour lines which helps stabilise the land.
You can read more about SALT technology on this article by International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) 

What will you see on the garden tour at GlenMyu Estate?

Well, that depends on who is taking you on our garden tour!
If I take you I always say to guests that you get the second class tour!
The reason being is that my wife has planned and planted most of the garden (with help from the staff off course!).
Therefore, my knowledge is quite a bit less and although I am learning, I’m sure that there are things that I miss.

Ru showing some guest around the garden close to the Pomelo Tree.

My wife, Ru, normally picks salad leaves and other vegetables and fruits from the garden and sometimes includes this as part of her tour. I stay well away from the vegetable garden – it’s her domain!

Here are just some of the fruits, vegetables and spices that you will see on the tour of the garden. (There are many more but Ru will let you know!).

Vegetables
Yams, Jackfruit, Avocado, Lettuce, Cucumbers, Spring Onions, Tomatoes

Spices
Cloves, Cardamon, Cinnamon, Curry Leaf, pepper, coffee, 

Fruits
Papayas, Bananas, Mandarin Oranges, Lemons, Mangos, Pomello, Passionfruit, Giant Passionfruit.

I have planted lots of trees myself since being at GlenMyu Estate . If I eat a good Avocado, Mango or Jackfruit, I normally save the seed and plant it somewhere on the land.
The plan is to eventually grow a fruit first which will be good for us, our guests and the animals that visit the property. We want to encourage more endemic species back to the property by providing an environment where they can thrive. We have already seen lots of Crane Flies (daddy long legs), Fireflies and Butterflies visit the property to eat. Occasionally we will see some deer at parts of the property that have been left for the wildlife.
In future we expect to see a large variety of frogs and birds come to GlenMyu Estate to forage.

You will see on your garden tour that lots of the trees I have planted are far away from the property. Therefore we are unlikely to be able to protect and eat the fruits from these trees and they will be a good source of food for the birds, monkeys and squirrels.

An informal garden tour - Don't expect Kew Gardens!

We offer the gardens tours to guests that stay at GlenMyu Estate and it is a relaxed and informal wander around the garden. It’s not a formal garden tour by a botanist or student of  the subject. Both Ru and I are enthusiastic and interested in what we are developing on the estate and I’m sure that this will come through on the tour.

I look at our garden tour as similar to our cooking demonstrations – relaxed and informal …. and a bit of fun.

Find out more about a stay in the Sri Lankan Hill Country

If you want to find out more about a stay at GlenMyu Estate please visit our website.

You will also find us on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook (Meta!).

You can readout reviews on Google, Booking.com, Airbnb and Tripadvisor.

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