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Early Spring in Bodnant Gardens – Part 2 – The Dingle and back to the hall

So here is Part 2 of the post concerning our visit to the National Trust’s Bodnant Hall Gardens. We will explore the Dingle and then make our way back to the nursery via a route taking us by the hall itself. In Part 1 we wandered as far as the end of the Yew Walk ready to drop down into the stream valley and follow the clear, fast-moving waters.

Another important flowering shrub that attracts thousands of visitors to Bodnant at this time of year is the Camellia, with its gaudy pink or white flowers and glossy evergreen foliage. I will admit it is not a favourite of mine but here is a small selection of those we wandered by. Someone likes the flowers enough to create a little piece of artwork with them for others to enjoy.

To continuing sharing our visit to Bodnant with you, I shall share a gallery of photos taken as we wandered around the area on two sides of the hall. Click on the first photo and then navigate using the right arrow.

Just before we left the garden we walked through the hot garden alongside a tall stone wall, a border we love in the late summer when it is at its best, but on this visit we found a few interesting plants. The strongest feature was the selection of Hyacinths in an exciting range of colours from creamy yellow to nearly black. These were joined by Tulips, Anemones, Bergenias and emerging fresh growth of Euphorbia griffithii.

 

We had a great day out exploring these wonderful gardens, full of atmosphere and such a wide variety of different areas developed in different ways. We will return for a follow up visit in the summer.

 

 

 

 

 

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Walled Garden in April

The weather turned colder today, back to more normal temperatures for the time of year. Last week on some days we enjoyed 20 degrees celsius but it has dropped back to 9, and it felt cold. But we had planned to take a walk at Attingham Park, the weather failed to stop us. Walking through the woods towards the walled garden we were delighted to see splashes of colour from Primroses, Celandines, Rhodendrons and the first leaves of Horse Chestnut trees.

Occasionally a piece of sculpture surprised and entertained us. This piece hanging above us from the branches of a tree, enticed us to look up into its structure, where it captured our images in its circular mirrors. With me are son, Jamie and his girlfriend Sam.

The walled garden changes with the seasons but also as the gardeners and volunteers develop it. The big change which we were delighted to see as we passed through the gate into the protected growing area inside the walls – the pigs had returned.

Each time a new area of the old walled garden is due for re-development, pigs move in to prepare the planting areas. They clear the weeds, turn over the soil and add manure to improve soil structure and add some plant nutrients. Today the pigs we were mesmerised by were young Tamworths with their red bristles.

The veggie beds looked almost empty but the decorative borders were full of colour mostly from bulbs and wallflowers. A few veg had survived the winter and added their own colours. The stems of the chard contrast nicely with their leaves, making them most attractive plants.

In the very centre of the walled area is a large circular dipping pool, from where the old gardeners would collect water by dipping watering cans. Archaeologists have cleared it out and their explorations and excavations have left its beautiful brick interior for us to admire.

The beds lining the paths that lead from the dipping pool are lined with tulips, hyacinths and wallflowers to give colour and scent for visitors to enjoy.

The warming red brick walls that gave protection to the fruit and veg growing within them are lined with beautiful trained fruit trees. The espalliers are wonderfully trained and later in the spring blossom will clothe their limbs and in late summer and early autumn with fruit.

The garden enclosed in a wall inside the outer wall produces fruit and cut flowers and is home to renovated glasshouses and coldframes.

A border outside the gardeners’ bothy  was bursting with hot colours. Polyanthas and Wallflowers in reds, oranges and reds shared the space with an impressive clump of Fritillary “Crown Imperials”.

On the return walk we passed through an area of woodland where fallen limbs from the old trees had been used by children to make wonderful dens. Let’s have a wander around and enjoy a few. We enjoyed admiring the children’s handiwork and Jamie and Sam had to try one out for size. Knowing that I would blog about our day out they decided that if they sneaked into a photo they could get themselves into my next posting.