Sunday 22 September 2013


The magnificent view from the Upper Rose terrace at Bodnant: Rosa 'Marie Pavie' in the foreground.
A wedding - itself very splendid - took me to North Wales yesterday. This morning I went straight to Bodnant in time for opening, getting in just before the busloads arrived - though not much before. One disgorged its American contents soon afterwards and I watched in fascination as they were led round at breakneck speed, reappearing down further and further terraces as I pottered along. I was pottering because there was a lot to see - Bodnant is a truly great garden. It was my first visit there, and I am impressed: it is very far from the usual run-of-the-mill National Trust style of gardening, and I shall find my way back there next year to see the spring display.

I don't usually find rose beds terribly attractive, but they are very well done at Bodnant, using good fragrant cultivars, currently having a resurgence of flowering. This is 'Pretty Lady'

Pileostegia viburnioides in extravagant flower in front of Bodnant Hall.

Sedum 'Matrona and Aster 'Mönch' combine well in a border near the Top Lawn.

Effective modern planting of grasses and dieramas on the Lily Terrace.

Clematis tangutica on an ornate pergola.

The garden and surrounds have many fine large trees throughout; a grove of beech in this case.

Magnificent conifers tower up from the valley floor.

Hydrangea arborescens among azaleas - a lovely green effect, and the other shrubs provide support for the stems.

A lush Begonia sutherlandii in the valley bottom - ideal conditions for it.

The outstanding Salvia microphylla 'Cerro Potosi, with the first autumnal tints behind.

A nice pairing of our native Goldenrod, Solidago virgaurea, and Calluna vulgaris.


  1. Bodnant was absolutely a treat when I came to visit back in 2011. Thanks for sharing these late summer photos.

    You'll absolutely love spring and if you time your visit to see the stunning Laburnum walk, it is just phenomenal.

  2. The first time I visited Bodnant was many years ago and I turned up first thing in the morning and found it did not open until afternoon! Not so now.
    I was interested to see Begonia southerlandii and wondered if in the warmer west temperatures they grow it as a hardy plant.
    I found with deep planting in well drained soil in York it did magnificently for four years before 2010 winter finished it.

  3. Having been a North American disgorged from a coach while on a garden tour in June, I can tell you that the purpose of the breakneck speed is for the guide to give participants an overview of the gardens so that they can later explore at leisure areas of particular interest.


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