The last couple of days saw me away with my sister in North Wales, rediscovering childhood haunts around our granny’s house in Llandudno. Of course, as a child, the proximity of Bodnant a National Trust garden (only the second to be accepted by the National Trust after Hidcote), had little allure compared to donkey rides and sandcastles on the beach, so I don’t believe we ever visited.
I’d read that the garden contains the national collections of Magnolia, Embothrium, Eucryphia and Rhododendron forrestii, as well as the longest laburnum arch in the country, but it occurred to me that none of these would be at their best in late October and so it was with a little trepidation I dragged my full-of-cold sister along.
Well I needn’t have worried, the garden was an absolute joy. The NT website entry states “there are many gardens in one at Bodnant” and so there are. Not only Italianate terraces, a dell (complete with waterfall and multiple champion trees) and numerous late perennials still flowering in Wales’ mild climate, but the trees, the trees!
Bodnant is on a scale that allows for an entire Acer Grove (don’t have one? You really should…) which was absolutely jaw dropping.
Acer rubrum ‘October Glory’
Away from the Acers, right by the entrance were a pair of Ginko biloba grown against a wall. I’d forgotten how yellow the leaves become in Autumn.
And if you tired looking at the amazing planting, there was always the beautiful Welsh countryside to enjoy: