Bodnant Garden: A world-class garden in Wales
Nestling in the Snowdonian foothills of North Wales, Bodnant Garden was forged by the Victorian vision of one extraordinary man, honed by his descendants and is today cherished by visitors the world over.
With its hillside setting the garden’s 32 hectares (80 acres) drop dramatically from manicured lawns and grand, flower-filled terraces, through buzzing wildflower meadows and shrub-filled glades, into awe-inspiring dells of water gardens and towering trees.
Established in 1874 by scientist, businessman and politician Henry Pochin, he and his family filled the garden with plants collected by famous global explorers such as Ernest Wilson, George Forrest and Harold Comber. Cared for by the National Trust since 1949, Bodnant is a garden of firsts – home to the earliest and grandest laburnum arch built in 1880, to Britain’s earliest magnolias introduced from China in the late 1800s and to unique rhododendron hybrids which were born and bred here from the 1920s.
A garden for all seasons
Today it is home to exotic plants from the Blue Poppy of the Himalayas to the Fire Bush of the Andes, as well as five National Collections - of Magnolia, Embothrium, Eucryphia, Rhododendron forrestii and Bodnant Rhododendron Hybrids. It is also boasts Wales’ largest collection of UK Champion Trees, which provide a year-round spectacle.
In spring, enjoy swathes of daffodils, camellias, magnolias, and rhododendrons; the heady sight and scent of roses, lily ponds, herbaceous beds and buzzing wildflower meadows in summer; a kaleidoscope of rich leaf colour in autumn; and sparkling, frosted landscapes in winter.
Bodnant tells a story of more than two centuries of world horticuture, yet it's a garden which keeps evolving. With around 40 formerly private acres opened to the public since 2012, and gardeners constabtly renovating beds and borders, there is much yet to experience.