We spent most of Sunday at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, which is near Carmarthen. The visit was prompted by the realisation that I had forgotten to bring the power adapter for our MBPs, which meant finding the nearest Apple retailer to buy a new one. That turned out to be Stormfront at Carmarthen, and the NBGoW was the nearest attraction. The result was serendipitous but all the more enjoyable for that. We had a great day, despite the fact that the weather was cool, to say the least, although the threatened rain held off for the whole day.
One of the many attractions at the Garden is the glasshouse, designed by Norman Foster and, apparently, the largest single span glasshouse in the world. It houses a collection of plants from the Mediterranean, South America, Australia, Africa, the Canary Islands and California. The plants grown in the glasshouse are amongst the most threatened in the world.
Also of interest was the double walled garden; the Welsh country walk; the Japanese Garden; the Bee Garden; the Apothecaries Garden; and the site plan of Middleton Hall. The latter stood on the original site for the Garden, but was destroyed by fire in 1931.
The Welsh country walk, Pont Felin Gât, proved particularly interesting for a number of reasons. From the plan of the Garden it appeared to be a relatively short walk. However in practice it is rather longer, and something that preferably ought to be tackled in walking boots. A feature of it is “a thundering waterfall”, which clearly depends for its description on the time of year. The Garden Web site also describes another interesting feature of Pont Felin Gât:
During 2010, Pont Felin Gât was used to trial a novel way of controlling damage to river banks. Instead of using conventional wire mesh and stone filled ‘gabions’, we’re the first place in Wales to try out socks filled full of household compost.
All in all a great day out, and the fact that our admission ticket provides free admission for the next seven days simply adds to the value. We’ll certainly take advantage of that during our current stay in Pembrokeshire.
Some of the shots from the day.