52/ 2012 – Week 16

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Bodnant Garden (Welsh: Gardd Bodnant) is a National Trust property near Tal-y-Cafn, in the county borough of Conwy, Wales. Bodnant Garden is situated above the River Conwy and overlooks the Conwy valley towards the Carneddau range of mountains.

This important garden occupies an area of 32 hectares (80 acres) surrounding Bodnant House, most of which was first laid out by Henry Davis Pochin, a successful industrial chemist, from 1874 onwards until his death in 1895. Bodnant House had been built in 1792 but was remodelled by Pochin and on his death it was inherited by his daughter (whose husband became the first Baron Aberconway in 1911). The garden, but not the House or other parts of the estate, was presented to the National Trust, with an endowment, in 1949. The House was the home of the late Lord Aberconway, and members of his family continue to be actively involved in the management of the garden, its tea pavilion and car parks on behalf of the National Trust.

The gardens are varied and include formal gardens bounded by clipped box hedges, ornamental ponds and pools and formal herbaceous borders, an enclosed laburnum arch and many rose gardens. However, Bodnant is most famous for its breeding programme, especially of varieties of Rhododendrons and azaleas examples of which are now grown throughout the world. Also noted are the collections of Magnolia, Camellia, Clematis and Hydrangea

Begun in 1875, it is the creation of four generations of Aberconways and is divided into two parts: the upper level (around the house) features huge Italianate terraces, specimen trees and formal lawns, with paths descending to at lower level “The Dell” with a wooded valley, stream and wild garden below. Included within the Dell are the Old Mill, the mill pond with the mill race and an attractive spillway waterfall into the River Hiraethlyn, to give the delightful babbling brook through the Dell its proper name.

Of the many specimen trees within the Dell and the Woodland, notable are several Californian Redwoods. One giant redwood (sequoiadendron giganteum) measured 47.2 metres (155 ft) in height. Another tree from the western United States, theOregon Douglas Fir Pseudotsuga menziesii was 48 metres (157 ft). From China about 1949 came the Dawn Redwood, previously known only from fossils and believed to have been extinct .

Above the Dell is “The Poem”, the family mausoleum from which a network of paths leads through shrubberies and the Rosemary garden to the front lawn (separated from the old park by a ha-ha) and across the lawn to the Round garden.

8 thoughts on “52/ 2012 – Week 16

  1. Beautiful photograph Mike and so ethereal with the hypnotic curve of the path under the spun archway and just the right amount of rouge daubing. I could go on, and on . . . what a wonderful place for daydreaming!


    1. It wasn’t so wonderful yesterday Patti. Heavy rain and squally showers, typical Welsh weather. But because of this all of the flowers in the gardens seemed to look better than they do on sunny days.


  2. Your photo of the laburnum arch reminded me of our visit there, which fortunately was when the arch was in full bloom. The beautiful hanging yellow blooms were buzzing with bees. It was wonderful.


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