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100 keen Cape Town gardeners watched a wonderful presentation of a 7 hour walk through Bodnant by one of our Kirstenbosch garden staff from the Chelsea team in May this year – sigh, envy, passion ignited…may we know how many staff you have to work all these wonders? Enjoyed the post about Laburnum Tony! Thanks for the comms
Delighted you’re enjoying our garden from so far away! We have approximately 20 full time gardeners and about the same number of regular volunteers working in the garden. There are 80 acres open to the public and we’re opening more up next year so there’s plenty of work to go around – even more now Tony has gone! Thanks for the comments.
I was wondering if you had any information on a William John Griffiths who was a coach driver at Bodnant garden aroung 1880-1900. He may well have been a gardener as well, as I know he had a passion for ferns and grew some rare varieties at his home in Capel Curig. He was uncle to the botanist and ranger Evan Roberts.
I hope you can help.
Your WordPress blog is excellent!
I can’t find any William John Griffiths on our records – but our records are very sketchy! We’re trying to gather material about former garden and estate workforce. If you have any more information you can share we’d love to know, especially with his botanical connections. The garden’s founder Henry Pochin developed a glasshouse and fernery, I wonder whether your chap had anything to do with this? Now he’s on my radar I will look out for the name.Thanks, keep me posted and I will do the same. Fran
Hi again Mark,
Since my last reply, I have done some more delving in the archives and come across a Robert Griffiths, who was the coachman at Bodnant in the early 1900s…I don’t know if that is the one you are looking for? You say the man you are looking for was William John?
Our Griffiths is listed as having been employed at Bodnant Garden from around 1906. He also served the Lord and Lady Aberconway of Bodnant Hall in their London home at Belgrave Square. In a WW1 record of Bodnant staff (undated but obviously sometime between 1914-1918) he is given as 34 years old and at that time ‘exempted from military service until February 1’…so born between 1880-1884.
I’ve also come across a tantalising photo (early 1900s by the style of dress) of a man named ‘Griffiths’ attending two ladies in a horse and small carriage in the garden.
The coachman before Griffiths , named in the 1901 and 1891 census, is John Evans, and in the 1881 census it is a Mr Taylor.
I don’t know if any of this helps? If I come across any more I will let you know. It would be nice to establish that connection between Bodnant and Evan Roberts!
thanks for the prompt reply. I’ll have a word with my mum and cousin to see if I can get some more information. Unfortunately we don’t have many photo’s of him as they were ruined by damp many years back.
We are National Trust members and are hoping to spend a few days in North Wales this year along with our friends. We are planning to include a visit to Bodnant but would most like see it when the rhododendrons and laburnum arch are in bloom. Could you let me know when is the best time of year to visit to take in both of these. Many thanks.
Hi Anne, the best time for the rhodos is April/May…if you come at the end of May you may also catch the Laburnum Arch in its full glory (though it is weather dependent – we give updates nearer the time on our website and Facebook page). Hope this helps.