Monmouthshire is a principal area in southeast Wales, styled as a ‘county’. Historically, it was one of the 13 original counties of Wales.
Comprising mostly of sedimentary rock formations, the region is mostly hilly, with the South Valleys bordering the west of the county, and the Black Mountains, part of the Brecon Beacons National Park, in the north. Whilst is Chwarel y Fan in the Black Mountains is the tallest hill in the county, with a height of 679 metres (2,228 ft), the Sugar Loaf if the best-known hill in the count due to its distinctive peak. Monmouthshire also encompass some lowlands, with two major river valleys: the Wye Valley, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and the Usk Valley.
Historically, the region was mined for resources such as coal, ironstone, and limestone, but these quarries are now abandoned. Most of the land is unsuitable for arable farming, meaning agriculture mostly consists of rearing livestock. The climate is also a factor in this. Whilst the summer in Monmouthshire is generally mild and partly cloudy, the winters are harsh, cold, cloudy, and windy. Gardens in Monmouthshire are therefore typically suited to a short growing season for some fruit and veg in spring, which can be harvested in the summer, such as tomatoes, strawberries, and courgettes.