Author & philanthropist, Beatrix Potter, often visited her Uncle Fred and Aunt Harriet’s rambling Welsh estate at Gwaenynog Hall. I had the privilege of visiting this idyllic property a few years ago on a shoot for Canadian Gardeningmagazine. Gwaenynog Hall is a 2000 acre estate located near Denbigh whose beautiful walled gardens inspired Beatrix to write her charming Flopsy Bunny books.
Janie Smith, Beatrix’s great grand niece, showed around the gardens – she and her daughter Frances have worked tirelessly to restore the gardens back to what they might have looked like when Beatrix visited. The garden’s were was so lovely even though we visited in the fall – ivy was still crawling on the walls, ruby red apples ripe on the trees, purple thistles blowing in the wind, iron gates opening up to secret gardens and horses peacefully grazed in the fields – I really could imagine Flopsy & Mopsy, Cottontail & Peter hopping through the flower beds looking for a nibble, can’t you?
On a visit in May 1895, Beatrix Potter wrote in her diary . . .
“The garden is very large, two-thirds surrounded by a red brick wall with many apricots, and an inner circle of old grey apple trees on wooden espaliers. It is very productive but not tidy, the prettiest kind of garden, where bright old fashioned flowers grow amongst the currant bushes.”