Travelling West to Carmarthenshire and beyond, you might have busily whizzed past this gem. The National Botanic Garden of Wales is situated not far off of the end of the M4, blink and you will miss the sign post – but do look out for it, as a trip there is so worth your while.
We visited on a Sunday morning, after our trip to The Big Cwtch festival the day before. The September sun was glorious, making the garden have an ethereal feel.
As soon as we arrived we were directed towards the butterfly house. Now I’ve been in butterfly houses before, but this one was oh so different. Housed in a beautiful glasshouse, with huge palms, it felt like stepping into the palm house at Kew (a little smaller mind you, but just as impressive). Inside we saw many different species of butterflies up close, lazily floating past. Large blue ones, small black and red – all just there, that we all wanted to reach out and touch them.
The humidity getting to us, we stepped outside and wandered the vegetable garden, making our way towards the large Biome. The Great Glasshouse at the Botanic Gardens is the largest single span glasshouse in the world. It houses the biggest collection of Mediterranean plants in the Northern Hemisphere – yep it’s bigger than the one at Eden!
During our visit, there was the biggest veg competition, around the perimeter of the glasshouse. Tables laid out in black cloth, with prized vegetables laid proudly on top. Long parsnips and carrots, sat by plates of shiny skinned shallots. We all marvelled at the first prize winners, wondering why these won, and not the others. We are of course not super veg judges, but it was amazing to look at.
The large glasshouse has gentle sloping pathways that take you around the biome, with viewing platforms, and decking over a large carp pond. Ivy and grasses line the walls, and succulents pop up everywhere.
The light inside the glasshouse was so dreamy, plants and the glasshouse structure casting beautiful shadows, making me want to take photos of EVERYTHING! Plants, light, more plants – what’s not to love!
Outside we walked through the wild flower meadow, passing by great trees, and back down to the carpark. There is so much more to see at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, including a walk around the estate taking in the tower and a waterfall. One for next time.
On to Wrights Food Emporium for lunch – another post on that one soon!
National Botanic Garden of Wales
Collaboration Note: Thank you to Visit Carmarthenshire for finding us fun things to do in the area. All words, thoughts and images are my own. Thank you for supporting the posts that make this blog possible.