I visited The Wales National Botanical Gardens this month, whilst staying in Pembrokeshire, what an incredibly lovely place this is. Set in the Carmarthen countryside it is a wonderful blend of contemporary and historic gardens.
The missions of the garden, opened in 2000, is to conserve, educate and inspire and with so much to see and do here these missions are being achieved. The nature reserve and green missions are doing a great job towards conservation in the area.
As you walk through the entrance there is a very pretty wildlife lake on the right-hand side. This is surrounded by plantings of trees and shrubs and a perennial flower border by the path. At this time of year most of these perennials were coming to the end of their flowering season but there was a lovely splash of colour from some Michaelmas daisies.
Then you come to a gorgeous water feature of a circular design which stand in the centre of the path. There is another water feature further along the walk and a rill meanders it’s way down the path, connecting the two. It is a fabulous, fun design and adds a beautiful dimension to the garden, with flower beds and borders throughout.
Wales Botanical Garden Butterfly House
The butterfly house is delightful, a lovely experience for children and adults alike.
It is beautifully planted with both exotic and tropical foliage and flowering plants from various parts of the world.
We normally cannot grow these plant varieties here in the UK unless we can provide them with their specific requirements and conditions, so to see them here in the butterfly house is a real treat.
There are butterflies and moths from all over the world, which are so pretty. They flit about feeding and mating and generally putting a smile on everyone’s face. You also get to see the chrysalis and pupae stage of a butterflies life; it is an educational visit.
Wales Botanical Garden Glasshouse
Wales National Botanical Garden boasts the world’s largest single span glasshouse, it is definitely worth a visit.
This spectacular dome houses and grows plants from a variety of countries which include:
- Canary Islands
- South Africa
All these geographical zones enjoy similar climatic conditions, plants here thrive on hot, dry summers, bright sunlight, with cooler, wet winters.
Some of the plants in this collection are endangered in their natural habitat due to human development and climate change. The Botanical Gardens do an impressive and important job in keeping and caring for these essential plants and flowers.
Read here for ideas on how to make a Mediterranean Garden.
Things to do at Wales National Botanical Garden
There is plenty to keep everyone of all ages fully occupied during a visit.
- Educational displays: For example, information boards that explain the various types of rocks in the rock garden, how and when the rock was formed.
- Ghost Forest: I won’t say too much about this display as I don’t want to spoil it for you, but suffice it to say it is utterly enchanting and educational. Kids will love it as much as you will.
- Japanese Garden: My personal favourite as I love the simple, easy to maintain Japanese garden designs.
- Butterfly House: A firm favourite with everyone, see how many different butterflies and moths you can spot in this beautiful space.
- Glasshouse: The glasshouse is home to a Mediterranean planting scheme.
- Educational Courses and Activities: Bee keeping, Acrylic painting, Children’s courses are just a few that are available, please check out the website for more.
- Apothecary Garden and Hall: The garden grows a wide variety of healing, medicinal herbs and plants and the Apothecary Hall is a museum of an Edwardian pharmacy, it is great fun, a little scary and fascinating.
- Aqualab: An educational centre that teaches about the natural world
- Bird of Prey Centre
- Nature Walks
- Children’s Play Area
Opening Times and Entrance Fees.
Please check the Website for seasonal opening times and to ensure that all parts of the garden are open before you visit.
The Glasshouse is sometimes closed for private events.
Places to Stay Near The Wales National Botanical Garden
Places to Stay and Visit in Pembrokeshire
Pembrokeshire boasts some of the world’s most stunningly beautiful beaches, so when you have walked your feet off at the gardens take a day or so to soak up the sun and sea, take a dip in the cool water. Your feet will love you for it.
- Barafundle Bay
- Broad Haven
These are but a few to be found in the Pembrokeshire National Park, and they are perfect for Al Fresco lunching, so take a picnic.
CwmDeri Vineyard and Restaurant near Narberth is also worth a trip. Set in the Pembrokeshire countryside, you can have a tour of the vineyard or enjoy the area for walks, then wine tastings, followed by lunch or dinner in their conservatory restaurant.
During my visit I stayed in a gorgeous barn conversion called, quite simply, The Barn
Renovated and converted to a very high standard The Barn can be found at Llanmill, a tiny hamlet not far from the bustling town of Narberth.
Orsola and Patrick are your hosts, and they make you feel truly welcome.
The Barn is cosy with a log burner for those cold nights and a hot tub, which is fun and very relaxing, a great way to unwind after visiting gardens and vineyards.
The gardens are pretty with various seating areas for you to enjoy and relax in.
Orsola is an Italian lady and a chef, she offers cookery classes which can be added to your stay and you can also order meals cooked by her. So turn your holiday into a real foodie experience. I can certainly recommend it.
BOOK NOW to enjoy a lovely, relaxing break, with all the above pretty much on your doorstep.
I hope that you have enjoyed this article and that it will encourage you to visit the Botanical gardens or to visit ones in your area, region, country. I can’t emphasise enough how good gardens and nature are for your physical and mental wellbeing.
Please share this with your family and friends and on social media. Any questions or your views can be added in the comments box below and are truly appreciated.