Bodnant Garden in Tal-y-Cafn, near Colwyn Bay, Conwy, is one of Wales’s most famous gardens and one of the most well-known world-wide for the number of excellent plants that have been bred there and successfully introduced to horticulture.
We arrived around lunchtime, after a short trip down from the Lake District. When we arrived, the sun was shining, the sky was blue. It was, yet again, a spectacular day that made our visit all the more enjoyable.
The garden is beautifully located with magnificent views over Conwy Valley and with the Carneddau mountains, part of Snowdonia, in the distance.
This gorgeous placement only adds to the beauty of the garden with its superb collection of big trees and stunning collection of rhododendrons and azaleas.
The garden’s famous laburnum tunnel was not yet fully out but it was still a treat to walk though it to the woodland garden beyond where we found a beautiful mix of rhododendrons in full bloom as well as magnificent, old specimens of pine, oak, beech and sycamore.
We were enticed into the formal part of the garden where we found a lovely, tranquil pond, as wide as it was long, next to the the Lily Terrace with its impressive row of sturdy buttresses. The lily pond was also elegantly sandwiched between two immense trees – a magnificant blue Atlantic cedar and mega-trunked tree of Lebanon.
All my group with me on this tour of England, Wales and Ireland loved this garden and considered it world-class in every way.
But perhaps it was the glorious sunshine that made the garden look even more splendid, even though many roses were still not fully open and many perennials had yet to rise to their best. Wisteria, ceanothus and various viburnums looked fantastic and some clematis and irises were at their peak.
One of the most attractive spots was a small quadrangle boxwood garden with a white-flowered crabapple placed in each corner and compartments of the parterres filled with tulips. This was a lovey example of what any reasonable-sized garden could install.
The walled garden areas also looked superb and we particularly liked ones with a gingko neatly espaliered against the stone wall.
Bodnant is a large, prestigious garden that requires a full day at least to see most of it. We were not able to get into the deeper, more rugged parts, particularly Furnace Hill and Furnace Meadow and a spot that many rave about, The Poem, in the centre. We have to save these pleasures for another time.
But the garden looked sensational from start to finish and we came away completly satisfied with our experience and were left longing for a return visit.
From Bodnant, we travelled a short distance to Llandudno and checked into our four star Victorian-style hotel on the promenade with calm sea views and providing the opportunity to walk along an old style pier and seafront.