A floral tribute to suffrage at Bodnant Garden
In 2018 our gardeners transformed the Round Garden with an annual flower design in red, white and green, the colours of the women's suffrage movement.
The scheme was a complete change of tempo for the formal East Garden. This area was developed by garden’s creative founder Henry Pochin in the 1880s, in high Victorian style with lawns intersected by paths, stone steps and balustrades.
In 2018 we began a redesign of this upper garden area, which includes renovating the beds and borders, lawns, paths and walls. As part of this ongoing project we took the opportunity to create a temporary display in the formal Round Garden beds for Unbind The Wing, our centenary celebration of women's suffrage and the National Trust year of Women and Power.
Gardeners dug up the formal box hedging and symetrical design of perennial plants, cultivated the beds and sowed a mix of annual flowers including poppies, cornflower, clover and cosmos. The result was a display which flowered from June to September, subtly changing week by week as species faded and others took over. It was a real talking point for visitors... and a magnet for wildlife.
Head gardener John Rippin said: "We sowed a bespoke annual mix from Pictorial Meadows with a dramatic colour scheme based on the suffragist colours of red, white and green. It's proved very popular with visitors who've liked the informality of the design and how attractive the flowers are to insects, as well as the link to the suffragist story. For next year we're keen to follow up on some of these ideas with a scheme which is more permanent."
In 2019 our #UnbindTheWing display has been replaced by a new, permanent design with long flowering perennials and grasses. Though short-lived, our annual 'meadow' was a vibrant tribute to Bodnant Garden's family of horticulturalists and has inspired the new design.