7 Jun 2013

What a Place to Work

Ardd Fotaneg · Botanic Garden

I can’t believe that the last blog I wrote was on 3 April. What happened to May?!  I suppose there was Easter, then two other bank holidays and we were away on holiday for a couple of weeks so I guess May just slipped away from me.  For the past couple of weeks, we have been busy volunteering in the Education office and I haven’t had a chance to get out and look around the Garden.  I always meet my husband to eat our sandwiches and we try to sit outside so I have been keeping an eye on things.  This week, though, I was determined to have a wander to see what is out and what is not.

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It was after 5pm and, although there were a few left, most of the visitors had gone home. It’s my favourite time in the Garden, when the ‘residents’ take back the place.  Last week, I was in the car waiting for my husband and a Great Spotted Woodpecker perched on one of the trees in the car park.  He flew on to the next tree and then the next and then flew on to the bricks around the base of the tree.  I had never seen a Great Spotted on the ground before – a green one yes, that’s to be expected.  I waited until he had had a good peck around the bricks and had flown off before going over to have a look at where he had been.  I found that he had been feeding on the ants that live and work in that space.

This week, the highlight of our lunch break was a pair of bullfinches; the beautiful bright colours of the male standing out among the apple blossom of the tree where he was perched. The Botanic Garden is looking lovely with everything bright and full.  Even the parts, like the Bog Garden, which just a few weeks ago looked empty and bare, now look full of life and colour.  It was good to see people stopping to read the information about the Rocks of Ages.  The new signage seems to be having an impact.  This was the first time I had seen it and I really liked it.  These information panels are attractive and easy to read – unlike the old ones.

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It takes a lot of work to keep somewhere like the Botanic Garden looking smart and worthy of our attention.  We know from our own gardens that it doesn’t take long for nature to take over.  I, for one, appreciate how hard everyone works. We tend to forget that, for some people, the Garden is a place of work.  When I first started work, many moons ago, my office overlooked the Tower of London, then I was moved to an office which overlooked Whitehall and the Houses of Parliament.  Both had a bit of a ‘wow factor’ about them but as places of work go I think you would struggle to beat the National Botanic Garden of Wales.

Pam Murden
June 5th, 2013