A floral tribute to suffrage at Bodnant Garden

The Round Garden at Bodnant Garden

This year our gardeners have transformed the Round Garden with an annual flower design in red, white and green, the colours of the suffrage movement, which has been blooming all summer long. The display of wildflowers has been a real talking point for visitors.

The scheme has been 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.

The Round Garden fountain and planting were renovated in 2007 and 2008 and in 2018 we’ve begun another redesign of the upper garden. As part of this ongoing project we’ve taken the opportunity to create a unique, temporary design in the formal round beds to mark our year of #UnbindTheWing. 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 has been a display which has flowered from June to September, subtly changing week by week as species fade and others take over. It’s been a talking point for visitors... and for wildlife which have been buzzing through the beds all summer long.

Head gardener John Rippin says: "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."

So once flowering has finished, our #UnbindTheWing display will be dug up over winter and replaced by a new, permanent design. It's been a vibrant, living tribute to Bodnant Garden's family of horticulturalists, and the reaction from visitors has given us some great ideas for the future.

If you missed it this year, enjoy our video of a year in the life of the Round Garden...