AN ABERGAVENNY author has combined his love of the great outdoors with his passion for writing in his latest book.

For years Antony Woodward yearned for a rural hideaway in the countryside.

So when a derelict smallholding high in the Black Mountains went up for auction in 2002, he seized the opportunity.

After buying Tair Ffynnon with his wife Verity the 47-year-old author began a journey that was to consume him for the next eight years.

Mr Woodward, author of Propellerhead and co-author of The Wrong Kind of Snow, transformed a derelict piece of land on a hillside near Llanvihangel Crucorney into a garden paradise.

The Garden in The Clouds can be found more than 1300 feet up and is the result of dedicated and hard work by the couple.

For the past three years it has opened to visitors as part of the national garden scheme's yellow book.

The memoir, published by Harper Collins, documents his experience in a book of the same name.

"We had been longing to move to the countryside for a long time so when we came here we feel in love with the area instantly," explained the former advertising copywriter.

"We sit in the cloud for half the year, hence the name but to me it is the most beautiful place in the world," he said.

Mr Woodward immersed himself in creating a garden filled with wildflowers and spent then next four years documenting it in his book.

"The book is about belonging to the place and understanding this wonderful place we had found to live.

The couple first opened the garden to the public in 2006 after creating an orchard, infinity vegetable patch, repaired dry stone walls and encouraged wild meadow to flourish. Other features include a railway carriage and box trees.

The garden is open this tomorrow (Saturday) and Sunday between midday and 6pm.

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