A place of international significance dedicated to conservation, horticulture, science, education, leisure, and the arts. As a landmark Millennium project, the Garden of Wales links the history of the last millennium with the present.
Within its 568 acres, there’s a world of wonders waiting to be discovered, at the National Botanic Garden of Wales. From cascades and waterfalls to seeing eagles fly as well as some of the rarest plants on the planet. With many specially-themed areas, wonderful plant collections, sculpture, science, wildlife, water features, history, heritage, the British Bird of Prey Centre, shopping, and eating, it will take you more than a single visit to experience everything.
Gardens during different seasons
The Botanic Garden’s centrepiece is the awesome glass dome that is Lord Foster’s Great Glasshouse, home to one of the finest collections of Mediterranean climate-zone plants in the world.
This setting for Mediterranean climate-zone plants is a burst of colour in April and May when flowers from the Mediterranean, California, South Africa, Australia, Chile, and the Canary Islands are in full bloom.
As things warm up, the various areas come into their own. Spring in the Chelsea Gold Medal-winning Japanese Garden is now garlanded by 100 newly-planted cherry trees and the nearby Springwoods are alive with bluebells. The historic Double-Walled Garden boasts magnolia, tulips, irises, and alliums.
The Wild Garden is soon a riot of colour as spring turns to summer and the wildflower meadows reveal a treasury of orchids and other almost forgotten, stunning countryside wildflowers like a ragged robin, yellow rattle, knapweed, great burnet, and eyebright.
It is a great time, too, to explore the pastures of the organic farm, where the trees and hedgerows throng with whitethroats and flycatchers. Much less wild is the rare-breed white-faced Balwen sheep, which dot the hillside dressed in their dark brown fleeces, along with a herd of Welsh Black cattle.
The collection represents plants from the world’s tropical rainforests, where exotic blooms and rare plants catch the eye.
As the holidays arrive, the Garden is filled with families following trails, taking tours, and enjoying all sorts of fun and games – not least a visit to the British Bird of Prey Centre to witness the fabulous flying displays where eagles dare; and kites, owls, hawks, and falcons provide memorable encounters.
The British Bird of Prey Centre.
A fun-packed, full day out, for all ages. Every day amazing shows are performed, each starring different species of raptor. Watch Golden eagles, red kites, and Peregrine falcons flying within inches of you, all with the amazing backdrop of the National Botanic Garden of Wales. You can even have a go at flying a bird yourself!
As temperatures ease, through the light September mists, a riot of autumn colour emerges.
Make sure you follow the Autumn Tree Trail that will transport you from the Tulip Tree to towering oaks and chestnuts, hornbeams, maples, and Dawn Redwood.
Out on the national nature reserve in the sheep-chewed pasture, something magical is happening. Every October, the wild waxcap meadows become a treasure hunt for rare fungi. Seek out Cae Waxcap and be prepared to be amazed at the brightly coloured red, green, and yellow fungi nestling like improbable gems in the tufty grass.
The Arboretum is, arguably, the most ambitious display in the Garden, Another must for autumn is the ambitious Arboretum, where trees and shrubs from around the world are grown with wild collected seeds - planted for the future and growing fast. Here you will find monkey-puzzle trees, South American yew, Himalayan pine, Japanese elm, and much more.
Grasses, dogwoods, evergreen shrubs, lichens, and mosses provide the backdrop to your winter visit but look out for the winter-flowering jasmines and viburnums and make sure you include the Great Glasshouse on your itinerary, where the flowers of South Africa are beginning to burst into life from January.
Perched upon stilts above the edge of Pwll yr Ardd is a wooden building. Packed full of microscopes and study aids, this is the Aqualab. The Aqualab is a fascinating place where schoolchildren can get the opportunity to explore a treasure chest of natural wonders through several activities.
Shopping and Eating
Y Pot Blodyn Garden Centre, located at the visitor entrance, the Garden Plant Shop sells gardening gifts, pots, and plants, from the ordinary to the exotic.
Inside the Garden, the Caffe Botanica, located in Stable Block, is a great place to eat a lovely hot meal or snack on sandwiches.
There is also a Garden Shop within the Stable Block It stocks a variety of products from local Welsh crafts to exclusive National Botanic Garden of Wales gifts.
The National Botanic Garden of Wales is a garden for all seasons but this very special place is so much more than a garden. No matter what time of year you visit, there's plenty to see and do.https://botanicgarden.wales/