We’re all set for a magical May at Bodnant Garden. The month brings a crescendo of spring colour, from exotic rhododendrons to native bluebells and a riot of blossom in between all crowned, of course, by the show-stopping Laburnum Arch.
This year we’re pulling out all the stops to make the experience a memorable one for everyone. From the beginning of the month we’re opening the garden gates early, and late, so visitors can make the most of the spring flower show.
We’re also offering breakfasts in the tearoom for early birds and have recruited a team of special volunteers, Laburnum Archers, to help visitors coming here for the famous floral spectacle, which attracts around 50,000 people over three weeks.
The 55 metre-long Laburnum Arch was created by the garden’s Victorian founder Henry Pochin in 1882 and is the longest and oldest in Britain. The display of golden flowers in late spring is the most visited, photographed and anticipated event of Bodnant Garden’s year.
We put out an appeal earlier this year for volunteers to help with the display and our events and engagement officer Charlie Stretton has been busy recruiting and training the merry band, who will be in special Laburnum yellow uniforms.
Our Laburnum Archers will help direct visitors, answer queries, take photographs for people, hand out brollies if the weather’s wet or drinking water if it’s hot, and help make the Laburnum Arch experience fun, friendly and enjoyable for everyone.
To give everyone extended access to the garden, people will be able to visit from 9am in May and June and stay until 8pm on Wednesday evenings (from May to the end of August.) Dogs are welcome on Wag Wednesdays evenings too, from 5pm-8pm.
And fueling all those hungry visitors will be our award-winning Pavilion tearoom, which has recently undergone a makeover by staff and volunteers and will be providing breakfasts from 9am throughout May and June.
Other horticultural highlights to enjoy at this time are the rhododendrons. It’s said there’s a rhododendron in flower every month of the year at Bodnant Garden, but they are at their peak in May. The garden’s oldest were brought here from Asia by Victorian and Edwardian plant hunters. In the 1920s and 1930s some of these plants were cross-bred at Bodnant Garden to make new hybrids which are now beloved by gardeners all over the world.
Adding color to the palette is the blossom of cherries, viburnums, late flowering magnolias and many other shrubs and trees; herbaceous plants are filling beds and borders and drifts of native bluebells run through the grass glades and wooded areas of the garden.
Now is also a great time to see garden projects underway – the renovation of the Bath poolside garden and the Canal Terrace borders – and to see the new Himalayan Poppy Bed near the Pin Mill, created last year, flowering for the first time.
The Laburnum Arch is the icing on our spring cake. We’ll keep everyone updated here, on or website, Facebook and Twitter, about its ETA. We’re all set, so watch this space!
For more details about Bodnant Garden call 01492 650460, check out our website nationaltrust.org.uk/bodnant-garden or catch up with us on Facebook or Twitter.