Now showing: Blossom time at Bodnant Garden

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After a slow start the garden is truly waking up and making up for the long winter…and how! We have beautiful blossom and lush foliage in spades.

The stars of the show at the moment are the magnificent magnolias, stunning velvety ivory and pink flowers framed against blue spring skies and carpeting the ground like confetti where they fall. Among them are some grand specimens as old as the garden itself such as the many Magnolia campbellii – sourced and planted by the garden’s creators more than one hundred years ago and a testament to their vision.

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Rhododendrons, towering magnolias and blue skies

The rhododendrons for which Bodnant Garden is famous are now really romping away, providing a breathtaking kaleidoscope of colours around every corner, from vibrant reds, purples and tangerines to pastel yellows and pinks.

In the upper garden tulips in every shape, form and colour are lighting up beds and borders, clematis are climbing the terrace walls (in a good way) racing to beat the budding wisteria and…wait for it…the drooping flowerheads of our famous Laburnum Arch are just poised to burst. Fingers crossed for a little more sunshine in the next fortnight.

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Tulipa ‘Monte Flame’ and Clematis ‘Frances Rivis’ on The Terraces

In the Shrub Borders swathes of bluebells are taking over from the daffodils sweeping grassy glades and a variety of trees and shrubs are flowering. Look out Amelanchier lamarckii, Prunus ‘Shirotae’, Chaenomeles japonica, Fothergilla monticola, Weigela middendorffiana and Exochorda x macrantha. Your nose will lead you to the gloriously scented Osmanthus delaviyi and Viburnum judii.

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Cerise Primula pulverulenta amongst greenery the Dell

In The Dell ferns are opening and herbaceous plants are suddenly providing a deep, lush pile. Dotting through this carpet are clumps of fluffy white Maianthemum racemosum and nodding heads of Leucojum aestivum, while fritillaries, primulas native and exotic, and sapphire blue pulmonaria, omphalodes and brunnera break through the green.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALet’s not forget the much-maligned but impressively sculptural skunk cabbage, Lysichiton americanus (seen left), which line the river banks underneath giant conifers. Love them or hate them they look so right here in the other-wordly space of The Dell.

As the garden hots up so does the pace of work. This week gardeners have been making pea stick frames to support growing herbaceous plants, mulching and feeding and furiously weeding beds while our arborists have been doing maintenance on trees.

But even the simple task of weeding takes on new meaning at Bodnant Garden, with gardeners getting into ponds and streams to clear debris and overgrowth and abseiling down cliffs to beautify steep banks. There’s never a dull moment, but as you can see it’s worth it!

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For more pictures of what’s looking good at the moment see the album Now Showing on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/BodnantGardenNT where you can also see work going on around the garden.

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