27 December 2012
Last updated at 10:44
Bodnant Garden in Conwy, famous for its botanical collections and its stunning views across Snowdonia, is opening in winter for the first time. From Thursday a specially designed Winter Garden will be open to the public for the first time at the site which attracts 160,000 visitors a year.
The Winter Garden, formerly an "overgrown thicket" in the remnants of an Edwardian rock garden on the 80 acre (32ha) site, has undergone a £35,00 makeover. Head gardener Troy Scott Smith said construction of the garden had been "a challenge" but it was ideal in that "it's almost weather proof".
Among the highlights of the garden are fragrant Daphnes, white-stemmed Rubus, bonfire orange Cornus sanguinea, and sweet scented Lonicera. The garden gets the sun all around in winter, and a winter garden relies on light to bounce off the stems and trunks, said Mr Smith. "It's slightly sunken so scent will be held within it too," he added.
Winter visitors to the National Trust-run attraction will be able to view more than 20,000 snowdrop bulbs, among the other winter flowering plants. "A garden looks totally different in winter to other times of the year," said Mr Smith. "Leafless trees take on a sculptured quality, and you see fantastic shapes that are hidden during warmer months."