Alpine gardening – The new rock ‘n’ roll

Copy of alpine 048

It’s official – Bodnant Garden rocks! A TV crew from BBC Gardener’s World visited us recently to film our alpine beds. The programme is following a couple developing their own garden and brought them to Bodnant for inspiration. The show will be aired later in the year (and don’t worry we’ll keep you updated). Area supervisor Bill Warrell took part in the filming, helped by gardener Gemma Hayes, who has developed the rock garden on the Top Rose Terrace.


Bill Warrell being filmed for BBC Gardener’s World

Designed and developed by Gemma, the Alpine Garden has been around three years in the making and it’s really coming into its own this year. The display of beautiful gentians and iris this spring has drawn many an appreciative gasp from visitors. It’s come a long way from an area of waste ground, as you can see:

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The Alpine Garden in March 2012 (left) and gardeners Gemma and Mark extending the plot in March 2013


Here are some of the sights in the Alpine Garden right now:

 Gentiana acaulis Copy of Iris 'Little Shadow' 

Gentiana acaulis and Iris ‘Little Shadow’

Copy of Phlox subulata 'Scarlet Flame' Copy of Arenaria grandiflora Copy of Pulsatilla turczaninovii

Phlox subulata ‘Scarlet Flame’, Arenaria grandiflora and Pulsatilla turczaninovii

Copy of Copy of Rhododendron burmanicum Copy of Antirrhinum sempervirens Copy of Iris 'Cherry Garden'

Rhododendron burmanicum, Antirrhinum sempervirens and Iris ‘Cherry Garden’

Daphne cneorum Copy of Paeonia cambessedessii

Daphne cneorum and Paeonia cambessedessii

Copy of Phlox bifida 'Ralph Haywood' OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Phlox bifida ‘Ralph Haywood’ and Pulsatilla haleri subsp.slavicahaleri

The dry Alpine Garden is a lovely new addition to Bodnant. Basking in sun on the formal Italianate terraces of the garden, it is very different to the damp, shady, wilder world of The Rockery in The Dell – which also caught the eyes of the Gardener’s World team. They spent some time there filming the plants which tumble down the valley side alongside a cascading stream. The Rockery was also recently filmed for a BBC Chelsea Flower Show special – when garden designer Mathew Childs visited Bodnant in search of ideas for his show garden. That programme will be aired in May.

We’re looking forward to seeing both our very different rock gardens on screen. It’s good to know they have inspired others…come and visit, maybe they will inspire you too.


The Alpine Garden and The Rockery

For more details about Bodnant Garden call 01492 650460, check out our website or Facebook page







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