Friday Photos #49 – Gardens

One of the last things that I’m thinking about on a cold and rainy day like this is a garden, but that is just what I’ve been doing thanks to Friday photos.

I’ve been to a lot of gardens over the years. At one time I considered studying to become a horticulturist and while that never quite happened I do still love a beautiful flowery landscape.

One of the most memorable gardens I have ever visited was just a few months ago, and in Northern Wales in all places. Bodnant Garden is a 32 hectare garden on the edge of Snowdonia National Park, which surely gives Bodnant one of the most beautiful backdrops of any garden in the world.

Bodnant Garden

On an early June morning, which turned out to be one of the warmest days of the year, we set off for North Wales with a picnic in tow. An hour or so later we arrived at Bodnant Garden, along with what seemed like half the population of Wales. A packed parking lot isn’t really how one likes to start a relaxing visit to a beautiful garden but we persevered and I’m glad that we did.

The hoards, us included, had chosen to descend on Bodnant on that particular weekend in order to see the garden’s most famous attraction, the laburnum arch. Now that I’ve seen it I can understand why it draws people from far and wide, it’s a spectacle the likes of which I have never seen before.

Laburnum Arch - Bodnant Garden

The scent of the arch hits you before you can see it, and then the glow of yellow begins to show as you wonder down the garden path. Or you could just follow the crowds, you know, whichever you prefer.

Laburnum Arch - Bodnant Garden

But wait, there’s more!

Due to a cold spring the laburnum arch bloomed more than two weeks later than usual, but this fluke of nature meant that on our June visit not only were we treated to the staggering beauty of the arch but a garden bursting with blooming rhododendrons and azaleas. Around every turn there was more to look at and more to marvel over.
Azaleas - Bodnant Garden

Bodnant Garden

Bodnant Garden

Huge peony - Bodnant Garden

Bodnant Garden

Bodnant Garden

Bodnant Garden
Though it took us four years of talking about it to actually make it to the garden during the blooming of the laburnum, it was well worth the wait. Sometimes things just happen for a reason, don’t they?

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