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The National Botanic Garden of Wales - Introduction (part 1)


By hywel


- – - – - Gardd Fotaneg Genedlaethol Cymru – - – - -

This is only 12 miles from my home, but I had never been there until a few days ago.
And to be honest I thought the place was in a bit of a sorry state. It looked rather delapidated to me, and in need of a facelift.

I didn’t think it was so big, with such a lot to see, – so for now I have written two introductory blogs –
one on the glass dome,
and the other showing the grounds.

Once inside there were little ‘trains’ to take you up to the glass dome.
I wanted to walk but B wanted to go on the train to save her bad hips – so on it we went. It was only small but it was nice to have a ride.

And here’s where it took us :-

Inside it was divided into different areas – each one corresponding to a different part of the world, and different countries.

Unfortunately I didn’t have a pen and paper to record what grew where, so I will just show some random photos for now.

I was disappointed I didn’t see any cacti at all. I’m going to complain lol

That isn’t a cactus – it’s a Euphorbia – different family altogether. And it was the only one there anyway.

There were also terraces and water falls and ponds

There’s a cafe in there aswell where you can have a snack etc.

Pitty it’s in such a state. There’s a lot that needs to be done to bring it up to scratch.
It nearly went bankrupt a few years ago, so maybe that’s the reason.

In the next blog I will show the grounds :o)

More blog posts by hywel

Previous post: Hills and wild flowers (part two)

Next post: The National Botanic Garden of Wales - introduction (part 2)



WOW!!! What a place! I would love to go there, looking at the pictures.. one would not know it was in a bad state. Thank you for sharing. Look forward to seeing your next blog..:)))

29 May, 2011


I think it was about five years ago when we went here, Hywel, and we said then it looked in need of some TLC! I have not got good memories of that visit to Wales as I had Sciatica and we cut short the holiday. : o((
Still, it looked like a sunny day for your visit and your pics are lovely. : o ))

29 May, 2011


Great blog, look forward to the next installment :-)

29 May, 2011


For me, I think it's the lack of colour to bring it all alive that makes it look "tired" got a lot of photos though, Hywel and it is nice to see something blogged that I've never visited, so thanks for that. Look forward to the next one, as Teds has said....

29 May, 2011


looks a fantastic place Hywel - sorry about the lack of cacti - but lots to view. lovely pictures you snapped and nice blog

29 May, 2011


It looks really interesting would love to go round it all, thanks for showing it to us, look forward to next part.

29 May, 2011


Lovely place to go what gorgeous plants love that yellow and white lilly and grass and violas very effective, thanks for sharing you lovely day out.

29 May, 2011


I haven't been either,Hywel..but you can't really tell from your pics,it is looking tired..I love the Aeoniums in the first two pics..and an Echium ? I think..the tall spikey thing !.I enjoyed your visit,and look forward to the next instalment

29 May, 2011


very nice blog again Hywel, thanks for sharing with us, I also think its lacking colour but nice apart from that,

29 May, 2011


Brill blog Hywel...still looks as though it was worth a visit...perhaps you could give them some advice, looks as though it is sadly lacking in orchids as well as cacti lol ! Or will they be in the next instalment ?;o)

29 May, 2011


Very sad to think a place like that is going through a bad patch. I hope it's future will be a lot happier.
I haven't been there either, but would very much like to having seen your blog. Looking forward to the next installment.

29 May, 2011


It looks a little like 'Eden', but on a smaller scale, lovely place but suppose it costs thousands to up-keep, like everywhere else. Lets hope people visit more and then they can spend money to bring it up to scratch. Nice pics as usual Hywel.

29 May, 2011


You have captured some lovely pictures of some interesting looking plants, it does remind me a little of the Eden project too. Although it doesnt look uncared for I know what you mean, we felt the same when we visited Stapely Water Gardens, guess it is part of the recession very much dependant upon visitors to mantain the upkeep. Thanks for sharing;0)

29 May, 2011


I agree with Grandmage, a place like that needs lots of visitors to save its future.
You have taken some lovely photo`s Hywel, its the kind of place I would love to visit so I`m definitely looking forward to seeing more, you cannot tell its in need of a facelift and thats down to your pics.
Thanks Hywel.......

29 May, 2011


It looks fantastic there Hywel, I`m very impressed! I wouldn`t have guessed that needs a bit of a facelift. Its sad to hear they are having financial problems, I would have thought such a lovely place would be full of visitors but I suppose in the current climate that could make a difference. Smashing photos though. :o)

29 May, 2011


Beautiful pictures again Hywel, I loved it, looking forward to the next instalment, thank you for showing. Tell Beryl I would have been on that train I love riding on trains, especially the little ones.

29 May, 2011


so much potential & so much money to achieve & maintain, usual story these days eh? Perhaps the planners over-reached themselves with such a large project??
Back home in Devon there is an exquisit public gardens called Bicton Gardens, I was a frequent visitor before I left for the Fens. It is reasonably large with a Pinetum that you can see via a train ride, you know the sort of thing. I thinks it's continued success is due to not being too large & it remains traditional with a Victorian palmhouse etc. Having said that Cambridge Botanical Gardens is thriving with a huge modern revamp in progress (last year) but it's backer's money & a wealth of volunteers that counts & not having to rely exclusively on public gate fees I guess.
Amazing glass-house H. Let's hope for a turn around in it's future.

29 May, 2011


So sad to hear it's in a bit of a state Hywel. I remember when that 'biome' or 'greenhouse' or whatever was opened. I've never been, but I remember it from the garden mags. etc. It looks absolutely amazing. Like you, I am stunned that they didn't have cacti. I took some cacti pics for you at Chelsea...I haven't uploaded them yet...I must do that. I thought of you when I saw them.

29 May, 2011


I had a few cacti on my Kew blog Hywel. I'm amazed they don't have any at the Nat Bot. We went years ago when it was first opened and I remember seeing my first blue corydalis and getting rather over excited! I loved the little stream that runs down one of the paths so you can paddle in it if you feel like it. I keep meaning to go again but somehow never get round to it though its only an hour away. Perhaps we should go and pay our entrance money! I wonder if they actually publicise it enough.

Bampy I've only seen Bicton in February - would love to see it in its summer glory.

29 May, 2011


Thank you all for reading my blog.

30 May, 2011


It's a shame that such a lot of hard work to make this place originally then falls behind and enters a vicious circle of - not well upkept, so people don't return; less people = less money; less money = less upkeep; not well upkept ......... etc. etc. I hope some injection of cash from somewhere will keep this project going. Your photos, as always, are wonderful, Hywel. I'd like to think all those wonderful plants will have a long and healthy life!

30 May, 2011


Thanks Nariz. i think that's what may be happening aswell

31 May, 2011


Interesting blog Hywel :o)

1 Jun, 2011


Thank you :o)

2 Jun, 2011


Lovely blog, Hywel! :-)) I'd really love to visit it one day! great photos of so many lovely plants but shame it's not being kept in good condition. :-(( Perhaps if they applied for volunteers that might make a difference.

5 Jun, 2011


I'm amazed its your first visit Hywel....I have been many times and have watched the dome develop over the years.My children always loved it there...

i love the south african section its great to see so many of my favorite plants doing their stuff. i have donated black aeoniums after the original ones were mysteriously taken...

Im so sorry to here the place looks unloved..i havent been for a couple of years. they have a volunteer group who help the few employed gardeners to cope..but obviously still need more help...

6 Jun, 2011


Well...A bit like a garden centre at first sight Kasy :(

Sorry Hywel.

14 Mar, 2012


Yes like I said in the blog the entrance is rather disappointing. It doesn't 'invite' you in :o(
And the big glass dome was disappointing too :o( It needs a lot of tlc. It nearly went bankrupt not long ago

14 Mar, 2012

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