Bluebell Beauty

There’s a blooming magic carpet ride in store for bluebell fans in West Wales this spring.

The Great Gardens of West Wales – a seven-strong group of fabulous venues in Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion – are throwing open their doors in celebration of this floral favourite.

Your passport to this wildflower spectacular is the Great Gardens of West Wales leaflet which, as well as being a perfect bluebell trail guide, also offers you a range of discounts to the magnificent seven gardens.

The bluebell, Hyacinthoides non-scripta, also has the common names: wood bell, fairy flower and wild hyacinth. Millions of bulbs can be found in just one woodland, which gives rise to carpets of flowers in April and May.

An obvious place to start is the National Trust’s Colby Woodland Garden, with its wonderful wooded valley full of surprises – and bluebells. Then pay a visit to Upton Castle, one of Pembrokeshire’s hidden gems and an absolute must for gardening enthusiasts. Nearby Picton Castle and Gardens is Pembrokeshire’s finest stately home and boasts 40 acres of some of the most beautiful woodland gardens and grounds. Christina Shand’s Dyffryn Fernant Garden has been described as “the most inspiring garden in Wales” while Cae Hir – a Welsh garden with a Dutch history – was voted 2nd Best Garden in Wales 2019/20 by the readers of Garden News.

Carmarthenshire offers two superb stops along your way: the renowned 10-acre plantsman’s paradise that is Aberglasney and the National Botanic Garden of Wales, a fascinating blend of the modern and historic, with themed gardens, woodland and wild areas.

Head gardener at Aberglasney, Joseph Atkin, says: “For all the rare and unusual plants that we grow, there is still something very special about our bluebell woodlands. Bluebells are a British native that are dear to most people. With good management they make an excellent native plant display in most woodland but in our beech woods they are especially good.”

Bluebell Festival