DESTINATION – NATIONAL BOTANIC GARDEN OF WALES

National Botanic Garden of WalesA garden lovers paradise and slice of heaven down here on terra firma. We didn’t even know about the National Botanic Garden of Wales when we arrived in Carmarthenshire but happily caught wind of it in time to visit on the final day of our Welsh adventure. Bravo to all the brilliant plant loving folk who work here, and Mother Nature of course.National Botanic Garden of WalesEverything was just awakening and starting to unfurl. Leaves of chard and rhubarb springing from the soil and apple trees gently blossoming outdoors in the double walled and vegetable gardens. I am still patiently waiting for mine here at home.Walled gardenBlackbird This sweet little blackbird followed us from garden to garden, finally landing on the most beautiful twisted hazel. Another tree on the wishlist for our garden.Black Bird Hothouse Then a shortness of breath and palpitations of excitement as we neared the hot and steamy tropical house. Once my camera lens had acclimatised to the humidity after the chill outside I was unstoppable. There were vines and trees with leaves bigger than me, climbers, ramblers, ferns and fronds in every direction.Inside the hothouse Wales Botanic garden Inside the hothouse Wales Botanic gardenWe walked the shimmering brick path swirling around some of the most beautiful plants in the world.Inside the hothouse Wales Botanic gardenInside the hothouse Wales Botanic garden Banana Tree National Botanic Garden of Wales Giant vine National Botanic Garden of Wales Inside the hothouse Wales Botanic gardenI could have taken pictures all day in here, the plant varieties are all so amazing, from tiny hidden orchids to banana trees with leaves big enough to cut clothes from!  Inside the hothouse Wales Botanic gardenBack out in the British spring air we took a short walk through the Wallace garden and the Boulder garden and found ourselves faced with the second wonder of the day. The Great Glasshouse – The largest single-span great glasshouse in the world which houses the largest collection of Mediterranean plants in the Northern Hemisphere.Great Glasshouse The largest single-span great glasshouse in the world Designed by Norman Foster and Partners, the Great Glasshouse is ‘poised on the Welsh landscape like a giant raindrop’. An indoor paradise under glass filled with flora and fauna from warmer climates, it houses some of the most endangered plants on the planet which come from six areas of the world: California, Australia, the Canary Islands, Chile, South Africa, and the Mediterranean Basin.Great Glasshouse The largest single-span great glasshouse in the world A firework display of blooms, shrubs and succulents, I really did not want to leave, ever.Great Glasshouse The largest single-span great glasshouse in the world Great Glasshouse The largest single-span great glasshouse in the world So many stunning examples of flowers from bud to bloom, the temperature was my ideal warmth with a gentle coastal like breeze and the spring light shining in on everything was perfection.Inside the Great Glasshouse WalesPlants I recognised and many new discoveries, on every side. Pale paths led us down to a waterfall and pond filled with fish and bathing birds. The chattering sounds of sparrows and gentle running water were so soothing. It was early in the season, so we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves.Great Glasshouse The largest single-span great glasshouse in the world Inside the Great Glasshouse WalesGreat Glasshouse The largest single-span great glasshouse in the worldRobins joined us for lunch and sparrows swooped around, waiting for dropped crumbs and taking baths in the pond and indoor water cascade.Great Glasshouse The largest single-span great glasshouse in the world The clever design of the indoor walkways through this unbelievable man-made landscape take you down low by the water and then up high to bridges swathed in flowers that give a smile-inducing view over the whole incredible scene.Great Glasshouse The largest single-span great glasshouse in the world The planting is a triumph, I can’t quite express my utter joy at being inside here.Great Glasshouse The largest single-span great glasshouse in the world Palms Great Glasshouse The largest single-span great glasshouse in the world Great Glasshouse The largest single-span great glasshouse in the world Taking in the forms and staggering size of the succulents as we walked around.Giant Succulent Inside the Great Glasshouse Wales EchiumIf you like gardening, nature and plants, I just know you will love it here! It is a plant hunters paradise. I have just found a little film over on YouTube that gives you a fleeting taste of the what you can discover – it gave me chills and the desperate feeling that I need to get back there for summer – go see!Lily Pond

  • These are beautiful pictures! The Glasshouse looks incredible and I love the pictures of the little birds. So sweet. xxx :)

    • Thanks Nicola, it is so, so lovely – and so much more I didn’t take photos off, I might have been there for a fortnight otherwise – not such a bad thought ;)

    • Thanks Nicola, it is so, so lovely – and so much more I didn’t take photos off, I might have been there for a fortnight otherwise – not such a bad thought ;)

  • Lynn Page

    So enchanting! Lovely words to echo this piece of Heaven on Earth, thank you Jeska x

    • it is so magical, I can barely contain my happiness, we need to get back there pronto! xx

    • it is so magical, I can barely contain my happiness, we need to get back there pronto! xx

  • Moominforest

    Wow. What a beautiful post and place. It has been a grey day here in Cornwall but your pictures make me yearn for summer. Thank you!

    • Thanks for the kind words, I wish I could teleport straight back there! :)

    • Thanks for the kind words, I wish I could teleport straight back there! :)

  • betty the wood fairy

    What a fabulous place and your pictures were excellent.

  • Jessica Large

    An incredible garden and beautiful pictures! It’s so fun seeing plants that I’ve grown up surrounded by being featured half-way around the world :]