Firgrove Garden Guide

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firgrove wisteria at the back of firgrove

Firgrove Country House is set on a sloping site of approximately 2 acres. The gardens encircle Firgrove with outlooks over farm fields, woodland and The Vale of Clwyd with The Clwydian range of hills to the east. A variety of large trees and shrubs has helped to create gardens within the garden, with lots of varied and interesting planting. As an example the ornamental pond attracts plenty of wildlife, both furred and feathered.

Spring time is very colourful with lots of camellias and magnolias, with some early clematis scrambling through various shrubs. Come summer the exotic plants venture out of the glasshouse to bring that Mediterranean feel, especially when the sun shines! We are opening on 5 occasions this year for the NGS, which has proved very worthwhile in the past. With just the two of us to keep everything shipshape the garden is more ‘homely’ than pristine but guests are very welcome to make use of the many seating areas to enjoy the birdsong with a cup of tea or even a glass of wine. Just the thing after a long, hard day!

rhododendron 4244474 960 720There are other gardens to explore in the area. Bodnant Garden near Conwy is based on a design that dates back to the late 1800’s and has been in collaboration with The National Trust over the last 70 years. The garden covers every season, camellias and rhododendrons in the spring, roses on the Italianate Terrace in the summer, to the glorious Autumn colours of the acers and massive rare trees. A winter garden shows what the colder months can offer in the way of colour and interest.

laburnum arch 2157922 960 720The Laburnum arch is a sight to behold in late May early June. There are crowds who flock to see the Laburnum arch but the site covers 80 acres; if you venture further into the garden you can feel quite away from all the hustle and bustle. There is a large café near the car park outside the garden and a small one in the garden near the plant and sales outlet.

It has to be said that if Bodnant Gardens are the prime reason for your journey there’s another Wolsey Lodge just four miles away from Bodnant, and that’s Tir-y-Coed. This is a magnificent 19th century gentleman’s residence surrounded by an acre of landscaped gardens. These are pretty in their own right, but in a wild and mountainous setting it’s a place where mature trees set much of the tone. Tir-y-Coed feels like the middle of nowhere but the village pub is five minutes walk away and, as mentioned, Bodnant four miles.

Not far from here is Bodysgallen Hall, Hotel & Restaurant. This Grade 1 listed property was gifted to the National Trust along with 2 other Historic House Hotels. The gardens here are magnificent, and you are welcome to look around if you enjoy a morning coffee, lunch or afternoon tea. Well worth a visit.

About 40 minutes drive from Firgrove you’ll find another spectacular garden started by a Victorian entrepreneur who loved plant hunting: Ness Botanic Gardens. Over many acres the planting is varied with marvellous spring colour of azaleas and rhododendrons and a huge rockery complex with alpines and heathers. The garden is now run by Liverpool University, and again it has a large café and plenty of outdoor seats around the garden.

Two further superb gardens are Cholmondeley Castle, water and spring shrubs, and Arley Hall with magnificent hedges and summer borders.

Anna Meadway, Firgrove House

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