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August 16, 2014

The Trelawnyd Flower Show and More

With the success of this year's Trelawnyd Flower Show I can't help remembering our visit to North Wales last year.

The flower show was the draw card. Since I'd entered the Trelawnyd Flower Show from afar in 2012 with a home made greeting card, I felt that my trip to Britain last summer just had to include a real-life visit. 

The route that Kitty and I took to Trelawnyd after a family visit in Stourbridge just happened to pass the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. Elwin and I always meant to visit it in our narrow boat but there were so many canal features that we never did get to see, travelling at 4 miles an hour. A group of our fellow Morris dancers had a trip booked on the Shropshire Union Canal and I didn't quite hear that there was a spare place on the boat until it was too late! Apparently they navigated the aqueduct within a day of our visit. My first glimpse of the 208 year old bridge was from our tea table 

in the delightful Fron House Tea Room and Garden

Fortified with tea and cake we made the crossing on foot and no... I don't like heights. 

Kitty and I spent ages moseying around the wharfs at each end of the aqueduct driving down into the valley for more photographs, which meant we didn't arrive at Trelawnyd and our accommodation until late evening. 

John had recommended Golden Grove Bed and Breakfast and it really made our stay in Wales complete. Homely and historic with tranquil formal gardens and a productive kitchen garden. I particularly appreciated the effort this family goes to in order to make a living from their home, maintaining the gardens and supplying breakfast needs from their garden and hens. 

One of my non-Morris focussed aims during last year's trip was to visit as many of the great gardens of Britain as I could, and here we were, a short drive from Bodnant Garden. We popped into Conwy, intending to stroll around, but after being caught in a claustrophobic traffic jam under one of the town walls, which brought back latent Earthquake panic, we left the crowded town for the calm of Bodnant. Interesting to find a house from the same period as New Zealand's colonial settlement, similar in style to a lot of older Christchurch homes, just much bigger.

My favourite feature was the terraced rose gardens overlooked by the little Pin Mill.

But other garden feats were beckoning... Trelawnyd and its Flower Show called. An intense little, afternoon event abuzz with the colour and personality and endeavour of local people... there's John chatting across the baking table (and well done with that boiled fruit cake this year John).

Later in the evening after we'd eaten at the pub in Llanasa, we visited John at home and had a little tour of his allotment where the poultry and animals were settling down for the night - a perfect end to a perfect stay. 

 So many elements of this couple of days came together to make a harmonious and memorable whole. 


John Gray said...

I remember it very well...lovely to see the photos!
And congrats to kitty again for her " green man"

rusty duck said...

Marvellous. Bodnant is on my list of places to visit one day and how great to meet John.
You wouldn't have got me standing on that aqueduct though. Not the height, the water!

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

John Gray: You know, that couple of days was the least stressed side trip in the whole three months. Everything just came together nicely. What a buzz it was to find that Kitty got First for her broccoli man - were we taking her school's ethos too far when she spent time entering a vegetable model in a flower show on the other side of the world as part of her school day?

rusty duck: You realise that you've tossed me another challenge. Meeting blog friends is part of the fun of travel now... We could go to Bodnant together the next time I'm over. Fron House tea rooms on the way is a must even if walking the aqueduct isn't :-)

Susan Heather said...

Thanks for sharing your visit. We thoroughly enjoyed our trips on the Llangollen Canal (My parents lived a short stroll from it at Welshampton). Going over the Aqueduct was really special.

Cro Magnon said...

I too was going to say that it looked like the Llangollen Canal aqueduct. Love John's jumper.

Steve said...

I may have to include this event on a future holiday itinerary!

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

Susan Heather: You lucky thing. It seems remarkable to be able to float on water so high above the valley doesn't it.

Cro Magnon: You too. I used to wonder if I would be brave enough to walk along the outer gunnel of the boat if I ever crossed that way. Now I know I wouldn't be brave enough!

Steve: Definitely. I reckon there ought to be at least one blogger (other than John) there in person every year. Glad you had a good break away in the Peak District :-)