Daffodils, the symbol of spring and our national emblem, are beginning to bloom at last in great swathes in the meadow of the Old Park and through the grassy glades of the Shrub Borders. The impressive display is the result of decades of bulb planting by gardeners – with a little help from Mother Nature who has helped them to multiply!
Other seasonal sights include the camellias – glossy, evergreen and in beautiful colours from pale pastels to vibrant reds and pinks – and the first of the rhododendrons, for which our garden is famous. Many of Bodnant’s rhododendrons were brought here from Asia by plant hunters in the early 20th Century and have been hybridised over the years, creating new plants unique to Bodnant. They can be seen all around the garden and in a special collection in beds on the Lily Terrace such as these two below, Rhododendron ‘Fine Feathers’ and Rhododendron ‘Cilpinense’
In fact the garden holds a national collection of rhododendrons…and also magnolias (some of which are now towering trees more than one hundred years old) which can be seen here in April and May. Their fat, furry buds are swelling in earnest..a few have been trying to burst open already but have been knocked back by the cold snap; let’s hope slightly later flowering varieties are more successful!
Roses are beginning to bud up in the Terraces and climbers like clematis and wisteria are slowly but surely making their way up and across stone walls and pergolas ready for flowering. Formal flower beds are slowly filling out as herbaceous plants re-emmerge from their long winter sleep.
In the Shrub Borders trees such as cherries are starting to blossom and a host of flowering shrubs are already lighting up the borders such as berberis, forsythia and corylopsis. Down in the Dell giant conifers look down on lush river banks filling out with greenery. Primroses are popping up and everywhere bulbs are dotting the ground with colour – snowdrops, crocus, daffodils, cyclamen and iris.
The Pin Mill is looking stunning after a recent renovation; work is also underway on a new White Garden on the Lower Rose Terrace, and on an extension to the Alpine Garden on the Top Rose Terrace – come and see the works in progress.
There are a host of activities in April – Easter events for families such as chocolate egg hunts, special walks, storytelling and music in the Pin Mill and a specialist plant fair. We’re also launching new events from April such as Walk and Wine evenings and late night openings. There’s so much to see and do, so celebrate spring at Bodnant Garden! By gardener Fran Llewellyn
EASTER WEEK EVENTS AT BODNANT GARDEN:
MARCH 29: Quoits in the garden, every day until April 6 (free).
MARCH 30: Story telling in the Pin Mill, 2 – 2.30pm (free)
MARCH 31: Mad Hatter’s Tea Party at Pavilion tearoom 3pm (booking required), Cadbury’s Easter Egg Trails (£2).
APRIL 1: Cadbury’s Easter Egg Trails (£2), National Trust Egg and Spoon Race, 12 noon, no extra charge.
APRIL 2: Walk with the gardener at 11am, £2
APRIL 3: Falconry, 10.30am-4pm (free)
APRIL 6: Story telling in the Pin Mill, 2 – 2.30pm (free)
APRIL 7: Plant Hunters’ Fair 10am – 4pm
FOR DETAILS CALL THE GARDEN ON 01492 650460