Christmas message from the Head Gardener


Bodnant Garden’s Head Gardener, Troy Scott Smith

Christmas, and finally I have a few moments to sit down and reflect on the last six weeks. That’s right, six weeks since the garden closed and in just a couple of days (December 27th) we will be open once again.
I find great beauty in gardens during the winter months and Bodnant is no exception, the fading veil of flowers reveals the structural bones of the garden, while pockets of evergreen planting inject solidity to the sparseness of the scene, with coatings of hoar re-ordering the prominence of the architecture.
We have added to this already existing beauty by making a Winter Garden; though two years in the planning and planting, it is only in the last six weeks that the space has really started to sing. The garden team have spread 60 tons of mulch, labelled the 350 varieties of plants, installed interpretation signs and I’ve made last minute adjustments to plant groupings not quite hitting the mark.
As I walked through the garden yesterday morning to my office, Hamamelis (Witch Hazels) in yellows and reds were starting to unfurl their spidery flowers, scent from Sarcococca (Winter Box) was filling the mild air and the first Narcissus ‘Cedric Morris’ was showing its miniature golden trumpet.
Elsewhere we have made changes to our usual winter working to ensure that in addition to the Winter Garden we also have a route around the rest of the 80 acres of garden. So we have cleared leaves off paths, pruned and tied wayward roses and climbers, improved drainage on both lawns and paths, cut down and mulched perennial borders and had to deal with the worst flood since 1995, which caused significant damage to the lower garden.
The team of full time gardeners and volunteers have worked miracles, come and see for yourself.


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