Thursday saw me at Bodnant Gardens, about 30 minutes drive from my house. The gardens are a National Trust property, spanning about 80 acres of hillside with formal Italianate terraces…
…and shrub borders stocked with plants from all over the world.
At first everything is on the level with well laid out paths.
You can follow these paths to meadows, dotted with daffodils in the spring
whilst in the late spring, bluebells carpet the shaded areas of the woods.
If you just want to sit and take in the splendour there are benches dotted around to sit and enjoy the view.
But as you walk through the gardens you have to start going downhill to see everything.
Once you get down into the Dell you can follow the river until you reach the waterfall.
Behind the waterfall is the lake. Normally it’s much higher than this, but surprisingly for North Wales we’ve not had a lot of rain this past few weeks.
I love this tree, hanging over the lake. It’s the one you can see in the photograph above, just up from the people sitting on the bench on the left hand side.
From the lake I followed the river, back towards the Old Mill.
Or if you prefer you can take a really steep path back up towards the family mausoleum by crossing the bridge at the waterfall.
It’s a nice walk and there a few good photo opportunities on the way.
Whilst I’m down in the valley a little more history about the gardens. First started in 1874 and developed by five generations of the same family, the gardens were gifted to the National Trust in 1949.
Although the family home is still standing on th estate it’s not open to the public, but the gardens around the house are quite interesting and that’s where we are heading now.
That of course means a climb back up the hillside to ge onto th eterraces near the house.
Just as well there are some benches to sit and rest on the way up. But eventually I get there and this is where the gardens are most busy. Not all visitors venture down into the Dell.
On the terraces, probably the most photographed building is the Pin Mill and the Lily Pond. Been there, done that, read all about it here.
Just for a change I’m going to photograph it from a different angle. But first I’ve got to get there. so it’s up the steps of the terraces to where I want to go.
Not there yet.
At last, I’ve made it. In reality, it’s a very simple walk up a few levels and it doesn’t take long at all. But hey, I’ve got to explain the photographs somehow.
Was it worth it, probably not. but the Lilly Pond was empty and there were too many people walking about to get a decent photograph, so here it is from an angle.
The one thing I have missed, is the famous Laburnum tunnel, apparently the longest in the world.. It’s too early in the year for the Laburnum to be out, but when it is, it’s very hard to get a photograph with no one walking into the scene.
Another month and it will be out, so I’m going to try to get one this year with it free of people.
Before I go I have to show you my photograph of the day and it’s one of those you manage to capture purely by chance.
After I had finished photographing the Pin Mill I decided to go back to the bluebells and catch them in the late afternoon sun. I started to take a few photographs and at first didn’t spot this male pheasant. Wrong lens. I’ve got the wide-angle 9mm on I need the 300mm. Don’t move, please stay there, please. Oh! No, there’s a couple walking through the bluebells towards the pheasant. He hasn’t spotted them yet but when he does…
Meanwhile I’m trying to gesture, stay back, change the lens on the camera and keep a sight of the pheasant. Eventually they stop walking towards him and I breathe a sigh of relief. Forty four photographs I took, only two were pin sharp around the eye, in my haste I’d forgotten to change my focus points to a tighter group. But I manged to get one. So for me the photograph of the day and that’s why I have submitted this post to the Friendly Friday Photo Challenge.