Seeing all the poor Northerners emerge from the snow is a reminder of our ritual spring trip to Bodnant in Wales to shake off winter by visiting one of the world’s most beautiful gardens.
You would have a cold heart indeed to not be completely transported by the garden at Bodnant.
I remember the sunny invitation of fields of daffodils, the exquisite Laburnum walk raining above us and ancient blossoming espaliered fruit trees basking along high brick walls.
But the wooded area with its richly painted rhododendrons had a true fairytale magic and ‘the Dell’ is often referred to (as I found in my photo hunt) as a favourite part of the garden by many visitors.
I made this watercolour of the Dell on a day of beautiful spring sunshine as a couple lay in the small clearing beside one of the garden’s soaring metasequioas. I reworked my original sketches and early attempts to get to this version.
According to the Monumental Trees site ‘The .. metasequioa or dawn redwood.. was once one of the most widespread tree species in the Northern hemisphere (during the Tertiary period). Fossils have been found across the northern hemisphere, including Greenland and Spitzbergen, dating from when the continents were further south, and close together sharing a common flora.’
(They also recommend you – respectfully – hug a metasequoia if you get chance as one of our true living fossils and I endorse this for these and any other tree you fancy)
My photos of the day were a bit hard to reproduce but I found an almost exact match taken around the same time and year by Christine Mathews – what are the chances?
If you need transporting a google search on Bodnant images will have you feeling revived from any trace of winter blues in no time.
http://www.hcs.ohio-state.edu/ukstudy2000/postcard/bodnant.htm ( http://hcs.osu.edu/) Department of Horticulture