Bodnant Gardens, Wales

 

The weather is changing, getting colder, wet and windy and the leaves are starting to change on the trees. DSC_2419

The Acers are the ones that turn deep red and orange, at the same time the seed pods also turn bright red.

All of thus beauty can be found at Bodnant Gardens in the Conwy Estuary, near Llandudno in Wales. Travel along the A55 and turn off at Llandudno junction and take the A70. Up and down some hills you will see a National Trust sign on your left hand side. Follow the long drive up to the car park up a hill on the left. There is a green pavilion at the bottom of the carpark by the drive and you walk down and past it into a landscaped spiral ramp down to a tunnel under the road and into the garden centre, shops, and entrance into the gardens.

There are tall trees, pines, redwoods, Acers and oaks. Autumn flowers and mountains in the distance. Formal and informal gardens surround the Bodnant Hall with an old conservatory or greenhouse attached to it. There is no entrance to the hall but there is plenty to see anyway.

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Conwy sketches

If you decide to take a day trip to Conwy, north Wales, on the other side of the estuary to Llandudno and the Great Orme mountain, can I suggest you don’t take a cheap sketchbook, an ok blunt pencil and a couple of old biros with you because you have forgotten your good drawing tools?

Firstly it doesn’t make drawing easy, particularly if you choose to walk along the battlements of a castle. If the sun does decides to shine then you can’t get dark enough shadows to show the foreground trees and you can’t get the subtlety of shading on the mist shrouded mountains in the distance. Each sketch becomes more random and quick. The only good one you give away to “Eric the storyteller” of snowdonian folk tales because you managed to capture a reasonable image of him.

Off down to the smallest house in Great Britain, built 400 years ago, now there is a house to draw. Luckily you dredge up an old black felt pen and make tentative marks. How to show how tiny the house is? The clue is to draw the welsh lady by the door, passing on wisdom and history. She is a good figure to add for a sense of scale. Mission accomplished while queuing to enter the house, the felt pen has run dry, but the image is clearer than the previous ones.

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