The rugged mountains and coastline of North Wales attract many…
Bodnant Garden is an amazing garden and arboretum in North Wales that spans 80 acres of hillside and has many different parts to explore.
I knew of this garden, the iconic white pavilion in particular, but I wasn’t aware how big and gorgeous this place is. It’s breathtakingly beautiful, so I’m going to guide you and show you this beautiful garden.
Bodnant was founded in 1874 by Henry Pochin, a victorian industrialist who made his fortune by inventing how to make soap white. He and his wife were great garden lovers, so they decided to establish a beautiful garden on their new estate in North Wales.
The garden was owned by five generations of the family and every generation looked after the garden and even put their stamp on it.
The formal gardens
As you enter the estate you find yourself in the formal gardens around the house, the Range Borders, the East Garden, the Front Lawn including the glassho
use and borders. There’s an oval pond in which the family used to bathe, called The Bath and a fountain as well close to the Winter Garden.
The terraces at Bodnant Garden
From here we get to the front of the house and the terraces. Bodnant has five incredible Italianate terraces, built between 1904 and 1914.
The Top Rose Terrace has a breathtaking view of the Carneddau Mountains and its two rows
of beds are planted with amazing roses. From the top you can see the Croquet Terrace as
well with long balustrades.
One level down is the Lily Terrace with a beautiful lily pond. On one side of the Lily Terrace is a garden gate, which leads to the most amazing woodland. But we’ll get back to that a little later.
From here steps are leading to the Lower Rose Terrace. The semi- circular Arts and Crafts-style pergolas feel like a romantic labyrinth as you walk down to the Canal Terrace.
The grand finale is of the five terraces is the Canal Terrace with its long pond with the Pin Mill at the south end. The building was built in 1730 as a hunting lodge in Gloucestershire, and was used later as a pin mill and tannery.
Henry McLaren, the third generation of the owners of Bodnant bought the mill and rebuilt it on the estate brick by brick. Downstairs is a gallery and upstairs is a panelled room which was used as a summerhouse and music room by the family.
This part of the garden already blew me away as you can imagine, but the best is yet to come. Through woodland path you get to the woodland and arboretum.
The woodland and arboretum
Beyond the terraces the garden becomes magical. Literally magical. As you walk by the stream, past the Old Mill and the Waterfall Bridge between giant American conifers and hydrangeas, you forget everything and feel very peaceful. The whole garden is like heaven.
This area of the garden is shaped by water: everywhere you go you can hear the gentle, relaxing sound of the water.
Henry Pochin, the creator of Bodnant Garden often invited his friends to plant new trees in his garden. What a lovely thought, isn’t it?
Pochin had another beautiful thought: the tower in the Glades is called the Poem. At first, you would wonder why, but it actually means ‘place of eternal memory’ and is the final resting place of the family. Isn’t that beautiful?
Past the Waterfall Bridge you get to the so called Far End where there’s a pond and an Arts and Crafts-style boathouse. The family used to row on the lake here.
You simply cannot get enough of this garden. If you are in North Wales, I highly recommend visiting this garden. It’s a garden that everybody should see.