In Search Of Bluebells


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…

Terrace
Terrace

…and shrub borders stocked with plants from all over the world.

Triffids
Triffids

At first everything is on the level with well laid out paths.

Laid Out Paths
Laid Out Paths

You can follow these paths to meadows, dotted with daffodils in the spring

Late Spring Daffodils
Late Spring Daffodils

whilst in the late spring, bluebells carpet the shaded areas of the woods.

Bluebells
Bluebells

If you just want to sit and take in the splendour there are benches dotted around to sit and enjoy the view.

Places To Rest
Places To Rest

But as you walk through the gardens you have to start going downhill to see everything.

The Old Mill
The Old Mill

Once you get down into the Dell you can follow the river until you reach the waterfall.

Waterfall
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.

Lakeside
Lakeside

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.

Overhanging
Hanging Tree

From the lake I followed the river, back towards the Old Mill.

Bridge Over Troubled Waters
Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Or if you prefer you can take a really steep path back up towards the family mausoleum by crossing the bridge at the waterfall.

Mausoleum
Mausoleum

It’s a nice walk and there a few good photo opportunities on the way.

Off The Beaten Track
Off The Beaten Track

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.

The House
The House

That of course means a climb back up the hillside to ge onto th eterraces near the house.

High Point
Rest And Be Thankful

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.

Stairs To terrace
Stairs To Terrace

Not there yet.

The House Reflected
The House Reflected

Still climbing….

Beautiful Steps
Beautiful Steps

…and climbing.

Too Early For Wisteria
Too Early For Wisteria

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.

Another Angle
Pin Mill From Another 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.

Laburnum Arch
Laburnum Arch

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.

Pheasamt
Male Pheasant surrounded by Bluebells at Bodnant Garden

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.

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19 thoughts on “In Search Of Bluebells

  1. What a lovely place to meander around. And that house, does the family still occupy it? I know what you mean by getting caught with the wrong lens on. And birds just don’t understand that they must stay put while you fumble around rushing to change lens. Thanks for the tour. Cheers.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We are lucky in this part of the world to have several stately homes, all well preserved by the National Trust and open to the public. Inside you can find guides who know the history of this houses and the family so you can spend all day at a property, Unfortunately Bodnant only opens the gardens, as the family still live in the house, but I think the better deal in this case is the grounds. All year round there is colour, there

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    1. I do apologise. WordPress did not notify me that your comment was awaiting moderation and I totally missed it. Thank you for taking the time to comment and I’m glad you liked the photographs

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful place and your photos are absolutely stunning, finishing with the piece de resistance, the pheasant in the bluebells! How amazing to see that and manage to capture it on camera. Thank goodness the couple saw you and stood still long enough for you to take the photos!

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    1. Once again I must apologise for not approving your comment. WordPress did not notify me it was awaiting moderation and I totally missed it. The pheasant was the highlight of the day for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We visited these gardens in early June of 2001 while the Laburnum Arch was in full bloom. It was one of the most delightful floral displays I have ever seen!
    Really, the highlight of our two years of living in the UK was visiting heritage homes and gardens. I really enjoy reliving some of our travels by reading your blog!

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