Botanical gardens in Wales – Mass plantings as you’ve never seen

Collage of images from the gardenI have been to quite a huge range of Botanical gardens, but I must say, I have never seen this huge masses of flowers. We visited in early autumn, and the brightly colored mass plantings really made this day special.

I think people of all ages that visit Botanical gardens do so partly to learn, and this garden is a fine example of a teaching garden.

Our visit
I must advice the order of walking this garden. We made the wrong choice at Circle of Decision and and went from boring landscape into the gardens ending up in a really tense walled garden, and did not enjoy it as much as we could have.

I would therefor recommend doing the walled garden first. It is really crammed with plants, and being tired you will not have the energy to appreciate it.

My absolute favorite part of this garden is the narrow paths running along side the walls from The Circle of Decision, and up to the mirror pool. It was filled with masses of seasonal perrennials. I am not into annuals at all, they are to flashy for me, so seeing this planting really gave inspiration!

At the top of this lovely path is the iconic glasshouse. One big dome filled with exotic plants and a lovely cafe. The rain suddenly visited along us, and it was a real treat having lunch in there. 🙂

The last few years it has been a hobby of mine to research plant history, and I therefor was really surprised and intrigued finding a walled garden dedicated to the work of Alfred Russel Wallace. If it had not been for him, Darwin would never had the guts to publish his work the Origin of Species by Natural Selection which did change everything! This walled garden really shows what genetics have helped us achieve. Mutation, Hybridization and selective breeding – the understanding of the evolution of plants. If you find all this a bit dull and dry, then fear not, this garden is a feast for the eye as well. Loads of sweet peas and Dahlias will make you fumble with your camera wanting to catch it all and bring home.

There are lovely views to the countryside on all sides of this property, but I must say I wished they used more of the landscape around for more secluded paths with trees, rhododendrons and Viburnums. At the moment the tarmac roads surrounded by nothing in particular other than some art here and there, is not enough for me.

Due to all other parts of this garden, I will surely go back!

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Be sure to check out the bee garden and observe and learn a bit about this lovely little helping friend.

Getting there:
The garden is open all year (not christmas day) and the admission fee is £8.50
Satnav: SA32 8HN
You can get to this garden with Bus 166 from Carmarthen Train Station.

A plant nerd like me would probably need a good 5 hours to enjoy this garden, but you could also spend 2-3 good hours just being outdoors  🙂

The plant and gift shop is not overhwelming which is a pitty, I had money to spend, but did not :/

For all other info, check out their informative website

The rill

A bamboo covered sear

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Glasgow Botanical gardens – with the beautiful glass palace!

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On a rainy late autumn day I spend 3 hours in this lovely garden. Due to the weather I spent more time in the temperate houses then I usually would, and what a treat!
The Botanical gardens in Glasgow are the diamond in the charming area of the West end.

Why visit:
The first thing you see once inside the old beautiful iron gates are the beautiful old glasshouses. The Kibble Palace must be the worlds most beautiful glasshouse with its round feminin forms, yet big and powerfull design.

The areas in the garden that impressed me the most was a vast grass border and the area with bush roses.
The grass borders really seemed alive, full of movement and sound making me want to interact with it, touch it.

There was very few roses in bloom when I was there, but the rose borders still was a huge hit. I have never seen so many different hips. They where long and black, pink and round, some hairy, some yellow and every shape and size you can imagine. And from seeing all the hips, I can promise you that this part of the garden must be spectacular in spring and early summer when all the roses are in bloom!

Walking down to the landscape garden – the arboretum, towards and along the river Kelvin is a really lovely walk. The trees give protection against weather and prying eyes. It seems that bringing a picnic bag from Waitrose and spending the afternoon here, is a popular activity amongst the locals.

The beatiful arboretum with loads of beautiful trees was where I spent most of my time. The garden recently got awarded money to collect and preserve for the National collection of Trees in Scotland. This will probably secure this part of the garden and make the arboretum even more exiting to visit in the years to come.

Kids will love this garden, different play areas are available and also different interaction learning about nature.

A tearoom serve tea, coffee, lunch and sweets.
I did not see the usual gift shop, and I missed it. I would love to buy some seeds and postcards.
As a tourist – visitor, you need to bring something home! 😉

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The gardens history
The property was bought in 1839 founded by the local botanist William Thomas Hooker, and the garden was opened to the public in 1842. Kibble Palace was opened in its current position in 1873 lit by 600 gas lamps. That must have been so spectacular.

You can also visit:
* If you need to warm after the visit you might try the Oran Mor Whiskey bar across the road. Its a beatiful old church converted to a bar!

* If you fancy another Botanical garden then drive the short drive over to Edinburgh. The botanical gardens in Edinburgh seem a bit bigger and maybe a bit more modern, I really love them both!

Getting there:
The gardens is a short walk from the Hill head Underground stop.

If you are visiting Scotland or Glasgow, I highly recommend a visit to this garden, even on a rainy day.

A lovely Bagatelle in Paris – Parc de Bagatelle

Parc de bagatelle

Some years ago, I bought a rose book to get inspiration to my new garden. In it I found fantastic pictures of the garden Parc de Bagatelle. I fell in love on the spot, and I can whole heartedly say, that this garden has influenced me more then any other garden. It was my first ever garden visit!

Getting there
Going to this garden by public transport is a bit tricky even though it is really close to the city center of Paris. I will therefor suggest you get a taxi. If you really want to try the public transport and have loads of spare time, then go for the bus (bus 43 or 244 from métro Pont de Neuilly).
I did the train and walked 2 hours, and by the time I arrived I nearly needed an ambulance.
The garden sits in the beautiful and huge forest of Bois de Boulogne.
A ticket to see the gardens costs about 5-6 Euros and I do believe it is accessible for wheelchairs.

Why visit
First off, this garden has everything, and the fact that it sits in tarmac covered Paris is a reason in it self to visit.
If you are in Paris for some other reason, I beg you to see this garden!
It is most famous for its rose garden and it is truly magnificent. Huge roses, small roses, ramblers climbing over arches, walls and pergolas and a huge strict cut parterre with so much roses you would not believe.
There are more then 10.000 roses in this garden.
They are all labelled, so if you need a new rose, this is a place to go get inspiration.
The garden also contains a cottage garden, landscape garden filled with exotic birds, waterfalls, grottoes, a pagoda, romantic bridges and a fantastic Iris garden.
I must say that the Iris garden really made a big impression on me, and I have a big Iris border at home, inspired by this garden.
This garden has a scientific systematic feel to it, everything labelled and planted in order, but not in a boring strict rows.
So if you are a romantic cottage owner or a nerdy plantsman this garden will fit both bills easy!

The gardens history
The garden was created in 64 days, by Louis XVI brother, in a bet against Marie-Antoinette who also lived there from time to time. They used the house as something in between a summer house and a hunting lodge. A posh one. 🙂

In 1835 the brit Lord Seymour, Marquess of Hertford bought the property, and doubled the size of the gardens and build new beautiful buildings. I was really impressed by the Orangerie.
So in 1905 it was all sold to the City of Paris. The landscape designer currently employed by the city (Jean-Claude-Nicolas Forestier) created the flower gardens that are the once we now visit for. The rose garden, the iris garden etc. The rose garden was completed in 1906. And has since then housed an annual rose exhibit for new roses. A debutant ball 🙂

Designers:
The first version of the garden and park was designed by the Scottish landscape gardener Thomas Blaikie.
The flower gardens inclusive rose and iris gardens was designed by Jean-Claude-Nicolas Forestier.
Parc de Bagatelle Website >

Rose garden in Parc de Bagatelle