Volunteers tamed Bodnant’s ‘wild garden’

Reflections of flowers on the Skating Pond at Bodnant Garden

A wilderness was transformed into a tranquil riverside haven at Bodnant Garden in north Wales thanks to the efforts of the garden team. Originally known as the ‘wild garden’, five gardeners and 40 volunteers spent five years taming the ten-acre Far End.

The growing volunteer team was the driving force behind opening up lesser-known areas of the world-famous garden. With their help it’s been possible to open up the Old Park meadow and the Yew Dell with the Far End opened in spring 2015.


" I first saw the Far End when it was a lonely, unkempt place, not really a garden at all. It was a bit of a wilderness, now it’s one of my favourite areas at Bodnant."
- Joy Williams, Bodnant volunteer

Rediscovering the lost garden

​Reclaiming the magical setting has been a rewarding task. ‘As you walk through you can see where trees have been skilfully cut away to expose stunning and varied views,’ adds Joy. ‘Many more plants have been added and there is a lot of wildlife to see, especially squirrels and if you look carefully, young trout.’

Extending Bodnant Garden

​The renovated Far End was part of on-going work to open all 80 acres of Bodnant Garden to visitors, continuing the story of the garden created by five generations of the same family. Since spring 2015, visitors have been able to explore past the Waterfall Bridge in the Dell and discover what lies beyond.

‘The Far End includes waterside walks, a skating pond, a boathouse and an arboretum of notable and ancient trees including the Mexican white pine planted in 1902 with its enormous cones,’ says gardener Fran Llewellyn. ‘I particularly love the skating pond because it’s so still, peaceful and quiet.'

A garden for all seasons

Throughout the year there will be different things to see in the Far End, including rhododendrons in spring and swaying waterside grasses and flowers in summer. Autumn will bring dazzling leaf colour while in winter the reflections of giant trees will be visible on the lake.

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