Botanic Gardens of Wales revisited

Our first visit to the Botanic Gardens of Wales was at the end of last summer, when the gardens were bursting with vivid colour and buzzing with life. Revisiting the gardens again earlier this month provided a great opportunity to observe how these gardens change throughout the seasons.

In contrast to our previous visit the open gardens were more muted in colour and home to hardy spring flowers and bulbs. Daffodils, tulips, lesser celandine, euphorbia and ‘spring snowflakes’ (a relative of the familiar snowdrop) created a carpet of texture with purple fritillaries adding a pop of colour among the yellow/green hues.

A sea of yellow & green dotted with purple fritillaries
Pale yellow daffodils
Spring snowflakes with lesser celandines in the background
Snake’s head fritillary – Fritillaria meleagris
Lavender with towering euphorbia out of focus in the background
Spring Snowflakes – Leucojum vernum

Whilst there was still plenty to see, we were sadly a little too early in the year to witness the gardens in their full glory with many of the displays still largely empty as they await a new crop of summer annuals. The ‘Wallace Garden’, which in summer hosts a dazzling display of dahlias had none of the spectacle of our previous visit, with little on display aside from some scattered tulips and hyacinths.

The ‘Wallace Garden’ waiting for fresh plants
Spring snowflakes and tulips
Emerging hyacinths – Hyacinthus orientalis

Despite the sunshine there was a cold northerly wind blowing and we soon found ourselves retreating to the Great Glasshouse, a welcome relief from the chilly breeze. Expecting the gardens inside to also be sparse with flowers, we were pleasantly surprised to find ourselves walking into a lush green jungle!

Beneath the huge glass dome the conditions are carefully controlled to replicate a Mediterranean climate. As a result the plants which reside her can enjoy optimum temperatures and humidity all year round, their growth less restricted by the seasons than the plants outside left to endure a harsh welsh winter.

The Great Glasshouse bursting with life
The upper levels overlooked by the towering ‘dragon tree’ – Dracaena draco

A visiting wind band were performing in the centre of the glasshouse as we arrived, creating a jyous soundtrack as we meandering through the various pathways, exploring the native plants grouped into regions including Africa, Chile & Australia.

Giant bugloss – Echium pininana
African daisies – Osteospermum ecklonis
One sided bottlebrush – Calothamnus quadrifidus
Mediterranean white heath – Erica x darleyensis 
A bridge almost completely concealed beneath these trailing plants

Unfortunately I was so absorbed in the beauty of many of these plants I forgot to also take a photo of their handy ID plaques, and so I haven’t been able to identify these plants below. Feel free to comment your suggestions!

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All photographs copyright of Claire Stott/Grey Feather Photography © 2022
www.greyfeatherphotography.com

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Jyothi says:

    Beautiful!! Great clicks!!

    Liked by 1 person

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