Parts of the Historic Grade II Listed Gardens and Landscape at Plas Tan y Bwlch in Snowdonia, North Wales, were severely damaged when severe storms, with wind speeds exceeding 100 mph, battered the north-west corner of Wales in February 2014.
Scores of large mature trees, originally planted by Victorian owners the Oakeley family in the nineteenth century, were either blown down or damaged. Many more rare, unusual and ornamental plants sheltering beneath were destroyed by the larger trees crushing them as they fell.
The work of clearing the initial devastation was completed last winter and work has now begun on a restoration and re-planting programme, which will take up to five years to complete. Already several hundred new plants and trees have been planted and the garden is now open for visitors to enjoy and see the progress of the on-going restoration work.
One unexpected result of the storm has been the mass explosion of foxglove flowers on the areas where storm damaged trees and plants have been cleared.
"It really is a stunning sight, said Plas Tan y Bwlch Director Andrew Oughton. "There must be thousands of these purple-pink flowers all over the garden and it looks absolutely beautiful."
Digitalis purpurea grows well in the open on disturbed soils, which is exactly what has happened at Plas Tan y Bwlch. Seeds which have laid dormant for years because the garden was too shady, have suddenly been exposed to sunlight as a result of the trees blowing down and the soil being disturbed by the clearance operation.
The gardens at Plas Tan y Bwlch are open daily from 10am – 5pm.