Bodnant Garden is a National Trust property in Tal-y-Cafn, Colwyn Bay, near Conwy, North Wales. This important garden occupies an area of over 80 acres surrounding Bodnant House, most of which was first laid out by Henry Davis Pochin, a successful industrial chemist, from 1874 onwards until his death in 1895. Bodnant House had been built in 1792 but was remodelled by Pochin and on his death it was inherited by his daughter (whose husband became the First Baron Aberconway in 1911). The garden, but not the House or other parts of the estate, was presented to the National Trust, with an endowment, in 1949. The House remains the home of Lord Aberconway, and members of his family continue to be actively involved in the management of the garden, its tea pavilion and car parks on behalf of the National Trust.
The gardens are varied and include formal gardens bounded by clipped box hedges, ornamental pools and formal herbaceous borders, an enclosed larburnum arch and many rose gardens. However, Bodnant is most famous for its breeding programme, especially of varieties of Rhododendrons and azaleas examples of which are now grown throughout the world. Also noted are the collections of Magnolia, Camellia, Clematis and Hydrangea.
Bodnant Garden is situated above the River Conwy and overlooks the valley towards the Carneddau range of mountains. Begun in 1875, it is the creation of four generations of Aberconways and is divided into two parts: the upper level (around the house) features huge Italianate terraces, specimen trees and formal lawns, with paths descending to at lower level "The Dell" with a wooded valley, stream and wild garden below. Included within the Dell are the Old Mill, the mill pond with the mill race and an attractive spillway waterfall into the River Hiraethlyn, to give the delightful babbling brook through the Dell its proper name.
Of the many specimen trees within the Dell and the Woodland, notable are several Californian Redwoods including Sequoiadendron giganteum planted in 1886 and at 146 feet high, surpassed in height only by another tree from the western United States, the Oregon Douglas Fir Pseudotsuga menziesit at 158 feet. From China in 1949 came the Dawn Redwood, previously known only from fossils and believed to have been extinct.
Above the Dell is "The Poem", the family mausoleum from which a network of paths leads through shrubberies and the Rosemary garden to the front lawn (separated from the old park by a ha-ha) and across the lawn to the Round garden.
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