Roses at Bodnant Garden

Two visitors walking through rose covered pergolas at Bodnant Garden

Experience the intoxicating sights, scents and sounds of our famous Italianate terraces, which are now blossoming better than ever as several years of conservation work come to fruition.

Bodnant Garden's five formal Italianate terraces were designed at the turn of the 1900s by Henry McLaren in the new Arts and Crafts style. His mother Laura McLaren, Lady Aberconway, influenced the planting with her passion for native herbaceous and cottage garden flowers.

Henry created two rose gardens, upper and lower, linked by ornamental pools and pergola walkways draped in flowering climbers. Over the following decades he added classical adornments such as stone sphinxes and statues and the 18th century fountain on the Croquet Terrace and in 1938 he added the finishing flourish, the 18th century Pin Mill building on the Canal Terrace. He bought the derelict building at auction and saved it from ruin moving it, brick-by-brick, from its Gloucestershire home to Bodnant Garden.

In more recent times the terraces have been enjoying some TLC by our garden team. The Top Rose Terrace was renovated in 2006 and the Lower Rose Terrace in 2012. Old beds were replanted with fragrant English Roses, many from the award winning David Austin collection, which provide a continuous display from July to October. New beds have been created too - the White Garden and Himalayan Poppy Bed - and a new design for the long Canal Terrace borders will complete the make-over this year. 

Conservation work

In 2013 the Pin Mill itself underwent extensive repair work to the exterior which will be completed later this year by the renovation of the upper parlour room. This will open in spring 2019, from where you'll get a new, bird’s eye view across the garden.

Ongoing support from visitors and members has played a vital part in all of this conservation work and continues to do so, this year swelling our appeal to replace the ageing Croquet Terrace Fountain, which will be the final jewel in the crown of Bodnant Garden’s Terraces.

As our work to polish the formal gardens nears fruition you can enjoy it all with an extended programme of late Wednesday evenings throughout summer, and Sunday afternoons of open-air music. Later in the year the formal gardens will also be the venue 'Unbind the Wing', our September celebration of the women of Bodnant and their fight for suffrage, featuring a trail, exhibition and live theatre.

See our website for more details about summer events and also 'Unbind the Wing', which is part of the National Trust's year of #WomenandPower.

Roses and climbing flowers deck pergolas on Bodnant Garden's Italianate terraces
Two visitors walking through rose covered pergolas at Bodnant Garden
Roses and climbing flowers deck pergolas on Bodnant Garden's Italianate terraces