Bodnant is an outstanding garden and a fine gem in the National Trust box of jewels. As we gathered for our visit, everything was shining like diamonds other than the sun!. One member had set out very early and travelled all the way from Dudley in the West Midlands. But the rain did not deter the 11 of us brave souls that were given a really interesting tour by Gordon, one of Bodnant’s volunteer guides. Under the cover of a colourful array of umbrellas, Gordon led us around the garden, telling the history of the place and pointing out places of interest. We saw the memorial to three generations of the same family who worked there as gardeners, and heard tales about the former owners who donated the gardens to the National Trust. As the rain eased, we continued our journey, seeing ponds, rose terraces, rustic bridges and a family mausoleum. We viewed many fine specimen trees and shrubs, and appreciated the colours of flowering plants that brightened up what was an otherwise grey day. Umbrellas were soon no longer needed and we had blue skies towards the end of the tour. Distant views came into focus of Yr Wyddfa’s (formerly known as Snowdonia) hills and mountains. We thanked Gordon for his time and enthusiasm before heading for refreshments in the café. It was a grand finale to an action packed weekend, with people discussing other forthcoming events, and looking forward to meeting again.
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Some photos taken by Stephen Tivey.