Bodnant Garden in winter

The Winter Garden at Bodnant Garden

A great garden offers something to enjoy during every season. With 80 acres of formal gardens, woodland and meadows, riverside dells and panoramic mountain views, Bodnant can stir the senses even in the depths of winter.

The jewel in the crown is our Winter Garden. Once a neglected Edwardian rockery, the area was renovated and opened to the public in 2012, since when it has matured into a sensational display of foliage, flower, bark and scent.

Colourful planting

The garden makes the most of the winter light, which at midday shines from the south across the Old Park backlighting the plants. Existing mature trees were retained to give structure to the planting scheme, as were many of the old shrubs such as rhododendrons, garrya, camellia and the stunningly gnarled old Acer palmatum. Other taller structural plants were added such as the white birches Betula utlis and the silky red cherry Prunus serrula.

Forming the middle level are shrubs such as hamamelis, daphne and sarcococca for scent, camellia for flower, cornus and rubus for stems and skimmia for berries. Beneath this a layer of small shrubs and herbaceous plants include red leaved bergenia and pittosporum, arching grasses and ferns, heathers and hellebores, with a colourful underplanting of bulbs such as snowdrops, iris, cyclamen and crocus.

Located in the upper garden, the Winter Garden is flat, level and accessible. For a longer winter wander, follow the streamside paths down to the Dell. From here you can continue upstream underneath the canopy of towering evergreen trees to the beautiful lakeside at the Far End; or if you're feeling energetic, walk up the hillside to Furnace Wood for panoramic views over the garden and the Conwy Valley.