The National Botanic Garden of Wales opened its doors to the public in May 2000. It is home to a collection of over 8000 different plant varieties, and covers an area of 560 acres of countryside.
There is a range of themed gardens that are designed to appeal to most people who have an interest in plants, whether it is a more scientific interest or just a general love of the smell and colours of flowers.
A special feature is the world’s largest single spanned glasshouse, designed by Lord Foster, which has a display of Mediterranean climate zone plants.
All paths within the garden area are accessible to wheelchair users and there are several motor powered and manual wheelchairs available for hire for an extra charge. There is also a shuttle buggy service serving most parts of the garden.
Light refreshments and drinks are available from The Teapot Cafe which is open to visitors who aren’t visiting the gardens. There is also a well-stocked gift shop selling gardening gifts and plants from the garden.
Throughout the year but mainly during the summer months there is a variety of free talks and tours of the Garden. It is best to contact the garden in advance of a visit to find out what’s on.
Younger visitors can take part in pond dipping sessions using nets and buckets to search for pond creatures. Any they discover can be taken to the Welsh Water Discovery Centre to study the food chain of the creatures.
Another interesting feature is the Double Walled Garden. This garden has stone outer and brick inner walls to help create several micro-climates. It is thought that this extended the growing season. For the budding scientist a visit to the Rock of Ages Garden will be of interest. The rocks in the garden form a sequence from youngest to oldest, dated in millions of years.
The National Botanic Garden of Wales strikes a balance between science and fun and there are plenty of attractions for all members of the family to become involved in.
National Botanic Garden of Wales
Tel: 01558 668768