Spring is blossoming at Bodnant Garden

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We’re basking in an amazing April here at Bodnant Garden. We’ve enjoyed a week of brilliant sunshine and blue skies which has coaxed out many wonderful plants. From the vivid tulips on the Range border which seemed to burst open, their petals wide to the warmth, to the delicious aroma of Osmanthus filling the air…the birds singing, bees buzzing… the gentle hum of the mower and smell of cut grass…it feels that summer is just around the corner.

But take a moment and enjoy this lovely unfolding of spring sights, sounds and scents. Here’s a sample of some of the things to enjoy this weekend if you’re visiting, starting with the colourful herbaceous perennials and bulbs to the scented and flowering and trees shrubs:

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Electric blue Pulmonaria ‘Lewis Palmer’ and Epimedium pubigernum

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Erythronium 'Pagoda' Bergenia cordifolia

Erythronium ‘Pagoda’ and Bergenia cordifolia, and below, more Erythronium, this time the pink flowered ‘Revolutum’

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From the sublime Anemone nemerosa to… Lysichiton americanus!

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Eye-catching colours…Tulips in the parterre and, below, Omphalodes cappadocica ‘Cherry Ingram’ and Euphorbia polychroma

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Flowering shrubs are really romping away right now. Our magnolias have been in flower for a month and are still going – some later forms will still be flowering in May and June. Rhododendrons have also been blooming since early spring but are now gearing up for the big show in May, building up layers upon layers of dazzling colour around the garden. And then there are the flowering cherries, which have just started to open and promise a bounty of blossom over the next few weeks.

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Magnolia stellata and, below, Magnolia ‘Heaven Scent’ 

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Rh. 'Janet'

Large blousey blooms of Rhododendron ‘Janet’ 

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Rhododendron ‘Redwing’ and Rh ‘Bluestone’ both Bodnant Hybrids

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Fothergilla major and, below, Forsythia x intermedia

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Prunus Kanzan and, below, Pieris ‘Flaming Silver’

Pieris 'Flaming Silver' (2)

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Scented Exochorda macrantha ‘The Bride’ and, below, the beautiful foliage of Sorbaria sorbifolia ‘Sem’

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis Osmanthus delayvii, seen here on the Tennis Lawn, is just one of the glorious plants to be enjoyed around the garden right now – and there’s much more to follow in the coming weeks – scented viburnums, blossoming clematis and wisteria…and don’t forget the Laburnum Arch, which is on schedule to flower at the end of May and is a spectacle, once seen, we promise you will never forget.

For more details about Bodnant Garden call 01492 650460, check out our website www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bodnant-garden or Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BodnantGardenNT

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Garden fun for half-pints this Half Term

Child in the Kitchen Garden at Tintinhull Garden, Somerset.

  Remember the things you loved doing as a child? They probably included climbing trees, making mud pies, splashing in puddles and building dens (whether for playing house or playing army camp…and there’s no gender reference implied there). I bet your best memories are of the outdoors and I bet they don’t involve screens of any kind, whether phones, laptops or televisions.

  There is widespread concern that youngsters today are losing out on the simple pleasures of outdoor play. The National Trust is trying to turn this around with a campaign called 50 Things to Do Before You Are 11 and 3/4 and at Bodnant Garden we’re doing our bit too.

  We’re looking hard at ways to make the garden more family friendly – both in the facilities we offer and the experiences we can give to our visitors. As part of this we’re running a host of activities for kids over the spring and summer and it starts this Bank Holiday and Half Term.

  Throughout the week why don’t you try out our Top Things To Do at Bodnant Garden?

Child taking part in the Full Bloom Festival at Acorn Bank, near Penrith, Cumbria

– Explore inside a tree on the Top Rose Terrace
– Play croquet on the Croquet Terrace
– Make a flower kebab
– Make a paper boat
– Lend a gardener a hand
– Make a mud pie in the Glades
– Look for a birds nest
– Play pooh sticks on the Mill Bridge
– Hunt for butterflies
– Take a photo of the coolest thing you see. Upload it onto our facebook site and share it.

– And if it’s raining, just bring your wellies and add to the list …run around in the rain and jump in a puddle!

  There will be quizzes and trails to do and we will be giving out checklists to children so they can tick off how many Top Things they get through during the week.

little boy and dog

  But that’s not all! Events planned this week for all visitors include:

– Storytelling in the Pinmill both Saturdays, 2pm-2.30pm (free event).

– Music in the Pinmill on Sunday May 26, from 2pm-4pm (free event).

– Open day at The Poem mausoleum on Tuesday May 28 (free event).

– Late night opening on Wednesday May 29, 5pm-8pm, when families can bring the dog too (normal admission applies).

– Walk and Wine evening on Thursday May 30 when the garden is open 5pm-8pm for a stroll, drinks and nibbles at the Pinmill (£6 entry).

Face-painting at the Full Bloom Festival at Acorn Bank, near Penrith, Cumbria

  There are plenty more events planned at Bodnant Garden for the summer and these are some of the highlights to put in your diary:

Teddy Bears’ Picnic 15 & 16 June – To launch National Picnic Week, with garden games and a best dressed teddy contest.

Midsummer Madness, 22 & 23 June – Events at Bodnant Garden Centre and around the garden including planting, colouring, pond dipping and garden games. We’re also going to open a secret area of the garden for a special sneak preview before it opens in 2014.

Grow Wild! 22 July- 6 September – Summer holiday fun for the family including mud pie making, evening nature walks, a machinery weekend, tree climbing and chance to be a garden apprentice.

may trail poster

For all these events and more keep an eye on our website http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bodnant-garden  Facebook page www.facebook.com/BodnantGardenNT and this blog.

Photos supplied by National Trust and Bodnant Garden