New head gardender appointed at Bodnant
AWORLD - FAMOUS North Wales garden has appointed a new head gardener following an 18-month search.
The prestigious role at Bodnant Garden has gone to John Rippin, who was formerly deputy gardener at Hidcote in Gloucestershire and head gardener at Castle Drogo in Dartmoor.
The famous 80-acre garden near Conwy has been searching for a head gardener since the departure of Troy Smith 18 months ago.
He left to take the lead at the garden at Sissinghurst in Kent.
At Bodnant, Mr Smith showed confidence in hacking back prized but overgrown rhododendrons and camellias, replanting tired beds and creating new borders and a winter garden.
He stayed at Bodnant for seven years, saying at the time of his departure: “Bodnant has the best of everything: the formal elements, the informal dell, the views – the vision of the creators is amazing. I’m truly sad to go.”
Mr Smith had stepped into an illustrious role dominated by three generations of one family. Frederick, Charles and Martin Puddle were the head gardeners who helped shape the garden throughout the 20th century alongside the McLaren family, who gave the garden to the National Trust in 1949.
William Greenwood, property manager at Bodnant Garden, said: “It has taken some time. We were determined to find the right person for this very special job.
“We have met some outstanding candidates along the way, but at last we have found our head gardener.
“Our deputy head gardener Adam Salvin has held the fort fantastically over the last 18 months, and guided the garden through major developments, opening new garden areas and improving access for families, dog walkers and picnickers.
“With more new areas opening in the next few years, there are exciting times ahead here at Bodnant Garden.
“We’ve now got a head gardener to take Bodnant onward and upward.”