As dedicated as I am to ‘real’ nature, even I can’t resist the temptation to stray occasionally into the more contrived, cultivated and colourful world of a beautiful garden. A couple of weeks ago, on a glorious sunny and warm day, I persuaded my daughter to accompany me on a stately visit to nearby Bodnant Garden. She agreed as soon as I mentioned that I’d treat her to lunch.
I ‘belong’ to the National Trust and do visit this particularly lovely woodland garden occasionally, each time wondering why I don’t go more often. I was particularly keen to go now to see the laburnum arch which is one of Bodnant’s claims to fame, but although beginning to show colour it perhaps needed another week or so to reach its peak. But by way of compensation, the azaleas and rhododendrons and other planted beds were absolutely stunning. Words are unnecessary, the photographs speak for themselves, so here is some of what we saw.
We could see that despite it being a Monday, the car park was very full and there were coaches too. We decided to have lunch before going into the gardens so we could look around in a leisurely fashion without worrying there’d be nothing left. I had the ploughman’s, daughter the quiche. Very nice too.
As you walk down towards the woodland dell there is a flower bed that has species of flowers resembling wild ones but exaggerated. Even the Welsh poppies were larger and perfectly formed.
We sat on a bench at the side of the stream for a while to have a chat (on the phone) and wish penblwydd hapus (happy birthday) to number 2 son who lives and works in London and used to speak Welsh.
I was fascinated by some crazy flies zooming back and forth over the water. They all seemed to be racing to a particular point, moving so fast they left a blurry trail, then they turned round and zoomed back again, repeated that a few times then broke up into a cloud for a few seconds before doing it again. They were quite large insects, I thought perhaps mayflies, but can they move that fast? I always thought they were a bit airy-fairy, float through the air-ish. They kept me entertained for ages whatever they were.
And a last view upstream before heading off to find the laburnum arch.
I’ve just checked the website for Bodnant and it says the arch is in full bloom now. Apparently it is so famous that people from all over the world go to see it. I thought it was busy there today.