See how best gardens grow

Reporter:

Suzanne Roberts

A host of beautiful gardens will take centre stage in a spectacular 16-day event.

Among the gardens with a starring role in the Festival of Gardens North Wales will be Plas Newydd in Llangollen, Chirk Castle and Erddig Hall near Wrexham.

At Erddig, throughout the festival, the National Trust is holding Big Bug Hunt where visitors can look for big cuddly bugs in the house and cast their eyes over some creepy carvings outdoors by international chainsaw artist Simon O’Rourke.

Both parts of the hunt take place daily from 10am to 5pm in the garden and 12.30pm to 3.30pm in the house.

Last year’s inaugural festival brought almost 44,000 visitors flocking to the beauty spots involved, and based on Welsh Government figures for average tourist spend per head, this reaped a dividend of over £1.7m during the festival.

According to organisers North Wales Tourism, this time the event is spreading over four extra days with even more gardens taking part.

From Saturday, May 27 until Sunday, June 11, a total of 24 gardens across the region will throw open their gates to thousands of visitors during the second Festival of Gardens North Wales.

A packed programme of events, ranging from behind-the-scenes guided tours and photography competitions to a squirrel watch and a vintage car rally will be staged as the festival unfolds.

The festival, which is being supported by the Welsh Government, will be officially opened at Plas Tan y Bwlch gardens near Maentwrog in Gwynedd by Gardeners’ Question Time chairman and former TV weatherman Peter Gibbs.

North Wales Tourism managing director Jim Jones said: “North Wales has some of the most beautiful gardens in the UK and this event is all about showing them off to as many people as possible.”

More than 100 unique events are planned over the 16 days of the festival at gardens taking part including musical performances, orienteering sessions, treasure hunts, bug hunts, gardening lectures, family treasure hunts, children’s trails and plant sales.

The festival dates have been arranged to coincide with late Spring flowering displays, which will include rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias, tulips and flowering cherries, making this one of the best times of the year to visit the great gardens of North Wales.

Mr Jones added: “This is the second year of the festival and it’s going from strength to strength.

“It’s an excellent example of what can be achieved when North Wales gets together for a particular offer – in this case its wonderful gardens.

“We have some of the most beautiful in the UK, including some real hidden gems, and this is about showing them off to as many people as possible.

“You can see our gardens separately but being able to visit them all together during the festival is amazing. The event is the perfect showcase for one of our best assets.

“The festival has been extensively marketed and we expect to
attract thousands of visitors not just from around the gardens but also from a much wider area including other parts of Wales as well as the North West and Midlands of England.”

For more about the festival, go to www.gardens northwales.co.uk

Email:

suzanne.roberts@nwn.co.uk

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