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Gardens of Earthly Delight: Bodnant Garden

By Pamela Robin Brandt

One of Britain's most respected, idyllic, and naturalistic-style gardens, this 80-acre Edwardian site in the town of Bodelwyddan in North Wales, is the work of just one three-generation family dynasty of plantspeople.

Henry Pochin, an ex-industrial chemist who bought this Conwy valley estate in 1874, his son Charles (a Royal Horticultural Society president), and his grandson the second Lord Aberconway, who continued actively developing these gardens until his death in 1953.

Notable garden features include a series of picturesque Italianate terraces, with magnificent views of Snowdonia's dramatic mountains.

These descend steeply from the estate's neo-Tudor house and are lushly laid out with collections of roses, lilies, rhododendrons, camellias, and magnolias.

There's also an open-air stage, several charming old mill buildings, and a luxuriant, deep dell cut by the little but mighty Hiraethlyn River, and seeded over 125 years ago by Henry Pochin with his main plant passion -- conifers, many of which today are over 100 feet tall.

The best time to visit Bodnant is, without question, late May to early June, when the garden's most famous feature -- the Laburnum Arch, a century-old 180-foot-long metal-frame tunnel covered with glowing golden racemes -- is at its most spectacular.

Plants and refreshments are available on site; picnics are allowed in the car park.

Information

Where:

Bodnant Garden
Bodelwyddan
Conwy
North Wales

Hours:

Open daily from March 13 to October 31, 10.00am. to 5.00pm.

Getting There:

By car from Conwy, Bodnant is 13 kilometres southeast via A55 and A470, and about the same distance south of Llandudno and Colwyn Bay via the A47O.
By bus: Bus #25 runs from Llandudno, every two hours. By train: The garden is a two-mile walk or cab ride from the Tal-y-Cafn rail station (Conwy Valley line).

Further Info:

01492 650 731 - phone
01492 650 448 - fax
Website: www.oxalis.co.uk/bod/garden.htm

For Flights and Airfares to England - click here for the Travel Homepage.

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