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I have done two previous posts about Bodnant garden this year, in spring and summer. This post is mainly about the autumn colours so the pictures will do most of the talking.

There are still some colourful borders and some of the roses are still in bloom, but although today was a bright autumn day we’d had torrential rain (almost 2 inches) yesterday and the flowers had taken a battering.

An autumn border, 7 October 2009

An autumn border, 7 October 2009

Autumn roses, 7 October 2009

Autumn roses, 7 October 2009

There is still a lot of greenery, but this serves to show up the beautiful yellows, oranges and reds.

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Autumn leaves, 7 October 2009

Autumn leaves, 7 October 2009

Autumn leaves and berries, 7 October 2009

Autumn leaves and berries, 7 October 2009

Berries (Cornus kousa), 7 October2009

Berries (Cornus kousa), 7 October2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Autumn colours around the lily pond, 7 October 2009

Autumn colours around the lily pond, 7 October 2009

Autumn around the lily pond, 7 October 2009

Autumn around the lily pond, 7 October 2009

Autumn sun glinting through an old Cedar, 7 October 2009

Autumn sun glinting through an old Cedar, 7 October 2009

There are still a few water lilies, 7 October 2009

There are still a few water lilies, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

What are these strange things? 7 October 2009

What are these strange things? 7 October 2009

Splashes of autumn colour, 7 October 2009

Splashes of autumn colour, 7 October 2009

A splash of autumn colour, 7 October 2009

A splash of autumn colour, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Autumn leaves, 7 October 2009

Autumn leaves, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

Shades of autumn, 7 October 2009

To round off this colourful walk around Bodnant garden here are some photos of the wonderful Sequoiadendron giganteun. These great trees are in the Dell and have grown to over 145 feet high.

A Sequoiandrendron giganteun, 7 October 2009

A Sequoiandrendron giganteun, 7 October 2009

Sequoiadendron giganteun, 7 Oct 2009

Sequoiadendron giganteun over 146 feet high. 7 October 2009

Sequoiadendron giganteun over 146 feet high. 7 October 2009

Bodnant garden is a wonderful place to visit at any time of the year, constantly changing but always a great day out.

More details about Bodnant garden can be found here: http://www.bodnantgarden.co.uk/


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I last visited the gardens (and did a blog post) in May when they were full of spring colour. Yesterday (11th. Aug) I returned to see how they look in summer.

Bodnant gardens cover an area of about 80 acres, some formal gardens and lawns, and the dell which is a wild area. The gardens were given to The National Trust by Lord Aberconwy in 1949, but are still managed by the family, who continue to live in the hall.

The entrance and reception are fairly new, and make entering the gardens safer. You now walk under the road instead having to cross it. Through reception, and you are met with a colourful border.

The path under the road.

The path under the road.

The colourful border with reception in background, 11 Aug 09

The colourful border with reception in background, 11 Aug 09

The colourful border leading to the hall. 11 Aug 09

The colourful border leading to the hall. 11 Aug 09

The hall was built in 1792, and was bought in 1874 by Henry Davis Pochin, whose son-in-law was the 1st Lord Aberconwy. At that time the gardens were victorian shrubberies and lawns.

Bodnant Hall and the front lawn. 11 Aug 09

Bodnant Hall and the front lawn. 11 Aug 09

Looking down the front lawn from the hall. 11 Aug 09

Looking down the front lawn from the hall. 11 Aug 09

As you walk across the front of the building you come to the statue of priapus and a wonderful view across the Conwy valley, before turning to the side of the building and the Upper Rose terrace.

Priapus with hills across the Conwy valley. 11 Aug 09

Priapus with hills across the Conwy valley. 11 Aug 09

The Upper Rose terrace, 11 Aug 09

The Upper Rose terrace, 11 Aug 09

In May when I was last here there were no roses in bloom of course. now the terrace is full of colour and the perfume was intoxicating.

The Upper Rose terrace. 11 Aug 09

The Upper Rose terrace. 11 Aug 09

The Upper Rose Terrace. 11 Aug 09

The Upper Rose Terrace. 11 Aug 09

One of the many roses, 11 Aug 09

One of the many roses, 11 Aug 09

From the Rose terrace there is also a view across the Lily pond below and across the conwy valley.

The view over the Lily pond and across the Conwy valley. 11 Aug 09

The view across the lily pond and the Conwy valley, 11 Aug 09

The roses look and smell beautiful. 11 Aug 09

The roses look and smell beautiful. 11 Aug 09

Now I walked down to the Lily Terrace, and the wonderful display of Hydrangeas.

Hydrangeas on the Lily Terrace, 11 Aug 09

Hydrangeas on the Lily Terrace, 11 Aug 09

The Terrace was designed around the two Cedars which still stand at either end of the Lily Pond.

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The Lily Pond with one of the original Cedars. 11 Aug 09

A water-lily, 11 Aug 09

A water-lily, 11 Aug 09

The hall from across the Lily Terrace, 11 Aug 09

The hall from across the Lily Terrace, 11 Aug 09

After the Lily Terrace I made my way down to The Canal Terrace and Pin Mill, passing more colourful borders along the way.

Colourful borders abound, 11 Aug 09

Colourful borders abound, 11 Aug 09

A border leading to the Canal Terrace, 11 Aug 09

A border leading to the Canal Terrace, 11 Aug 09

The long narrow stretch of water on the Canal Terrace has water-lilies at either end. At the north of the terrace is an open-air stage with a background of clipped Yews. At the southern end of the Terrace is the Pin Mill, originally constructed as a garden house in about 1730 in Gloucestershire. In 1938 it was in a decayed state. Lord Aberconwy bought it and incorporated some of it into the Pin Mill.

Looking south to the open-air stage, 11 Aug 09

Looking south to the open-air stage, 11 Aug 09

The Spinxes on either side of the steps leading to the Lower Rose Terrace, 11 Aug 09

The Spinxes on either side of the steps leading to the Lower Rose Terrace, 11 Aug 09

The Pin Mill, 11 Aug 09

The Pin Mill, 11 Aug 09

Water-lilies on "The canal", 11 Aug 09

Water-lilies on "The canal", 11 Aug 09

A water-lily. 11 Aug 09

A water-lily. 11 Aug 09

Inside the central arch of the Pin Mill. 11 Aug 09

Inside the central arch of the Pin Mill. 11 Aug 09

Leaving the Canal Terrace I made my way down the path leading to the Old Mill. The mill-race is of Tudor origin and was originallu used to power a blast furnace on the banks of Afon Conwy. Later it was used to turn the wheels of the flour mill, and later still to work the estate saw mill.

The mill race. 11 Aug 09

The mill race. 11 Aug 09

The old mill and stone bridge over the mill-race. 11 Aug 09

The old mill and stone bridge over the mill-race. 11 Aug 09

The Dell is the wilder part of the gardens, planted with many different conifers as well as Cypress, Wild cherry, Larch etc. The first conifers were planter in 1876 and many are now well over 100 feet high. The most notable are the Wellingtonia, Redwood, Western hemlock and Douglas fir.

Paths run up both sides of the Dell and which ever path you take you will see great tress and a variety of other plants.

Hydrangeas in the Dell. 11 Aug 09

Hydrangeas in the Dell. 11 Aug 09

Colour amongst the conifers. 11 Aug 09

Colour amongst the conifers. 11 Aug 09

The waterfall under the bridge at the head of the dell. 11 Aug 09

The waterfall under the bridge at the head of the dell. 11 Aug 09

The bridge over the waterfall. 11 Aug 09

The bridge over the waterfall. 11 Aug 09

Once over the bridge the path climbs alongside a stream, with the colourful Hydrangeas again in evidence.

Hydrangeas alongside the path. 11 Aug 09

Hydrangeas alongside the path. 11 Aug 09

As I continued up the path I got a view of the mausoleum. This was built by Mr Pochin as a last resting place for himself and his family.

The mausaleum from the path from the Dell. 11 Aug 09

The mausoleum from the path from the Dell. 11 Aug 09

The mausaleum from the forecourt. 11 Aug 09

The mausoleum from the forecourt. 11 Aug 09

I now followed paths leading back towards the hall, on the way passing more glorious coloured flowers and wonderful trees.

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11 Aug 09

The memorial to Anne McLaren, 11 Aug 09

The memorial to Anne McLaren, 11 Aug 09

The memorial tablet. 11 Aug 09

The memorial tablet. 11 Aug 09

The Yew garden. 11 Aug 09

The Yew garden. 11 Aug 09

The round garden. 11 Aug 09

The round garden. 11 Aug 09

Now I’d arrived back close to the hall. I had another slow walk around the terraces and sat in the sun for a while.

Looking across the croquet terrace & lilly pond to the Pin Mill. 11 Aug 09

Looking across the croquet terrace & lily pond to the Pin Mill. 11 Aug 09

Part of the rose terrace and Hall. 11 Aug 09

Part of the rose terrace and Hall. 11 Aug 09

Another view of the Pin Mill. 11 Aug 09

Another view of the Pin Mill. 11 Aug 09

Now it’s time to leave and I make my way back to the car park, and a welcome cup of coffee in the refreshment pavilion. Now a last look back, above the roof of Bodnant Hall across the Conwy valley.

The view over the roof of the Hall. 11 Aug 09

The view over the roof of the Hall. 11 Aug 09

If you’re in North Wales it’s worth visiting Bodnant Gardens, it really is a splendid day out. More details, opening times etc can be found here:  http://www.bodnantgarden.co.uk/

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Anytime is a good time to visit north Wales.

Last winter was the hardest for many years, but there were some magical views in the valleys and the mountains.

Autumn is full of wonderful colours.

Spring though, has to be my favourite time; as fresh green leaves start to appear on the trees and flowers start to bloom.

There is a limit to how much I can put into one post, but I hope it gives a taster of how wonderful springtime is around north Wales.

Betws y Coed is a favourite place of artists, walkers and climbers. There is a lovely walk along the river banks, and on the day these photos were taken the weather was wonderful.

Afon Conwy at Betws y Coed, 13 April 2009

Afon Conwy at Betws y Coed, 13 April 2009

Afon Conwy at Betws y Coed, 13 April 2009

Afon Conwy at Betws y Coed, 13 April 2009

I have already written a post on Llyn Crafnant, on 23 feb 2009, so I won’t go into more detail here. I will say though that Llyn Crafnant is wonderful at any time of the year. This was a lovely spring day with blossom on some of the bushes and trees just starting to come into leaf.

Spring at Llyn Crafnant, 18 April 2009

There is not much to say about this photo. Bluebells mean spring, and they were in profusion this year. The photo was taken near Trefriw in the Conwy valley on 30th. April 2009.

Bluebells in the Conwy valley, 30 Apr 2009

Nant y Coed is a lovely wooded valley near Llanfairfechan. It was once described as “the loveliest sylvan rock and river scenery in Wales”, and I certainly wouldn’t argue with that description.

Nant y Coed, 7 May 2009

Nant y Coed, 7 May 2009


Blue bells at Nant y Coed, 7 May 2009

Blue bells at Nant y Coed, 7 May 2009

A sun-dappled path, 7 May 2009

A sun-dappled path through Nant y Coed, 7 May 2009

The Isle of Anglesey is a great place to visit. South Stack, not far from Holyhead is a nature reserve. It’s a place to see Puffins, Razorbills and Guillemots as well as the Chough, which nests here.

Walking through the heathland and farmland along the cliff tops you hear the Skylark singing. Not a common sound these days. These photos were taken on 31st. May 2009.

South Stack, Anglesey, June 2009

Razorbills and Guillemots perch on narrow ledges, 31 May 2009

Razorbills and Guillemots perch on narrow ledges, 31 May 2009

Lots of spring colours, 12 May 2009

Lots of spring colours, 12 May 20

I did a post on Bodnant gardens on 14 May 2009, but with all the spring colours there I had to put a couple of photos here, just to tempt you.

Colours in The Dell, 12 May 2009

Colours in The Dell, 12 May 2009


Fairy Glen is just   outside of Betws y Coed and is well worth a visit.

A walk down into the gorge is a must, and then a walk back up, along the top and then gently down to walk along the Afon Conwy.

The black Zwartble sheep are on the farmland which leads to Fairy Glen.

Fairy Glen, Betws y Coed, 3 May 2009


Zwartbles sheep & lambs, 3 May 2009

Zwartbles sheep & lambs, 3 May 2009


Llandudno’s Victorian Extravaganza is held over 3 days of the May Bank Holiday.

It was a beautiful day on the Saturday this year (the Sunday too, but Monday was not as good) and I ended up getting sunburnt!

I did a post on the Extravaganza on 8 May 2009 so this is just a taster.

Fairground rides on the main shopping street, 2 May 2009

Fairground rides on the main shopping street, 2 May 2009

Canada goose with goslings, Conwy, 29 May 2009

Canada goose with goslings, Conwy, 29 May 2009

Birds are every where during spring. Lots of summer migrants have arrived and everywhere you go you can hear bird song.

Not all our birds are little brown jobs either, we have plenty of colourful ones too.

Stonechat near Aber falls, 28 May 2008

Stonechat near Aber falls, 28 May 2008

Chaffinch on Anglesey, 21 May 2008

Chaffinch on Anglesey, 21 May 2008

Greenfinch at Conwy, 29 May 2008

Greenfinch at Conwy, 29 May 2008

Oystercatcher chick at Conwy, 30 May 2008

Oystercatcher chick at Conwy, 30 May 2008

Oystercatcher with a chick, 28 May 2009

Oystercatcher with a chick, 28 May 2009

Aber falls, 29 May 2008

Aber falls, 29 May 2008

Visit the Aber falls, it’s a great day out.

Near the village of Abergwyngregyn, the falls are reached after a gentle walk through pastures and woodland. The valley is now a nature reserve.

It was here that I heard my first Cuckoo of the year, last year.

The fall’s longest single drop is about 115ft.

As it’s spring I thought I’d end with some spring flowers.

Gorse, April 2008

Gorse, April 2008

Wild Primroses on Anglesey, May 21 2008

Wild Primroses on Anglesey, May 21 2008

Bee on a flower, Conwy, 28 May 2008

Bee on a flower, Conwy, 28 May 2008

Common centaury at South Stack

Common centaury at South Stack

Birds foot trefoil, Conwy, 28 May 2008

Birds foot trefoil, Conwy, 28 May 2008

I could have found much more to put in here but that will have to do for now. Why not visit north Wales and do some exploring for yourself.

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Bodnant Gardens is in the Conwy valley, not very far from the A55. For anyone looking for a really plasant day out, this it.

The garden is in two parts. The upper part around the house is made up of terrace gardens and informal lawns. The lower part is formed by the Dell. Pinetum and Wild garden.

Bodnant Hall from the front lawn.

Bodnant Hall from the front lawn.

Henry Davies Ponchin, whose son-in-law was the first Lord Aberconwy bought Bodnant and it’s surrounding estate in 1874.

The house had been built in 1792 and was a typical Georgian design.

The garden, when Ponchin bought the estate consisted  of  Victorian shrubberies and lawns.

He first started on the Dell, reinforcing the banks and  planting the great conifers in 1876.

Lily pond.

Lily pond.

The lily terrace,containing the formal pond was designed around the two Cedars which were planted in 1875. This one, at the northern end of the pond is an Atlas Cedar.

Pin mill and Canal pond.

Pin mill and Canal pond.

The Pin Mill stands at the south end of the canal. It was  originally built in about 1730 as a garden house, in  Gloucestershire.

In 1938 it was decaying and the 2nd Lord Aberconwy  bought it and brought parts to Bodnant where he  incorporated them into this new building.

Priapus with a colourful background.

Priapus with a colourful background.

Banks of wonderful spring colours.

Banks of wonderful spring colours.

Everywhere you look there are wonderful banks of  colour.

Trees too have blazing colours.

Trees too have blazing colours.

Even some of the trees are as colourful as the flowers.

Blazing colours.

Blazing colours.

Beautiful spring colours are everywhere.

Beautiful spring colours are everywhere.

Spring flowers

Spring flowers 2

The Dell.

The Dell.

The Dell.

The Dell.

A Sequoia

A Sequoia

Strange shapes.

Strange shapes.

One of the great Sequoias, standing at about 145 feet high.

Some of the ancient trees have strange shapes, like this one, almost lying down to grow.

View across Conway valley from Lily pond.

View across Conway valley from Lily pond.

Everywhere there is something  wonderful to see, not least the views  across the Conwy valley, like this one  from the Lily pond.

Spring flowers 5

Spring flowers 3

Bodnant is a great place to visit, in a fantastic setting in the Conwy valley. I will be going back and doing more posts during the different seasons.

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