Celebrating a century of roses at Bodnant Garden

Bodnant Garden near Conwy in North Wales is marking the centenary of its grand terraces, famous for their rose gardens, lily pools and stunning mountain views with a special rose planting and a poignant public appeal about those who worked on the terraces and went on to serve in the First World War.

The famous terraces were completed just before the outbreak of the First World War in 1914.

Gardener Fran Llewellyn said: "Nineteen-fourteen marked probably the biggest achievement at Bodnant with the completion of the terraces.

"They are a testament to the vision of the garden’s founder family and to the men who built them, some of whom went away to fight and never came back.

"The fact that roses are still blooming on our beautiful terraces, and visitors from all over the world come to see them, is a lasting tribute."

The National Trust garden is world famous for its five Italianate terraces which were built by the garden’s owner Henry McLaren in the years between 1905 and 1914 – with some final touches added in 1919.

He completely re-sculpted the grassed hillside overlooking the Snowdonian mountain range, creating a Top Rose Terrace, turfed Croquet Terrace, Lily Terrace with pond, Lower Rose Terrace with pergola walkways and Canal Terrace with it’s now iconic canal pond and Pin Mill.

It was a grand earth and stone moving project all done by men with wheelbarrows and carts.

It is estimated that the work done by 50 labourers in an hour pre-1914 would equate to one skilled labourer using machinery after 1966.

Events planned in celebration and remembrance include guided rose walks with the gardeners and a special rose planting to mark the centenary of the start of the Great War.

As part of the anniversary the garden is also making a public appeal for information to help build a record of the workforce involved in the ambitious, nine-year building project, and the impact of the Great War on the small village community.

In August there will be a planting of a special rose to mark the completion of the terraces and the centenary of the First World War.

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Comment by Stuart @ Eco Garden Maintenance on July 9, 2014 at 21:34

I visited this garden whilst on holiday in the baking heat of last summer. It is without doubt the most gloriously beautiful garden i have ever visited. As a national trust member i did not have to pay to get in but would happily pay the entrance fee to go again. In fact i plan to go again next time i am in North Wales.

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