Gardd Fotaneg Genedlaethol CymruNational Botanic Garden of WalesNational Botanic Garden of Wales
Garden blogs

Curator’s Blog October 2013


Well it has been a fantastic summer an excellent growing year and a year where we have been able to get stuck in to all manner of tasks in the garden. Now it is raining the leaves are turning colour and the days are rapidly shortening; with the shorter days a flurry of short day length flowers provide us with the last hoorah of colourful display. Many of the hardy perennials that we have in the Broad Walk are gloriously doing their thing right now. Taking a closer look it is interesting to note that the Compositae (The Daisy Family) are in ascendance, so good displays of Aster, Rudbeckia, Solidago and Chrysanthemum are particularly noteworthy.

Even in the rain I have enjoyed a walk around noting how much colour we still have. Of course a huge benefit of many of these late flowerers is that they are fantastic for cut-flower. No need for a global market and cut flowers from foreign parts when we can do this at home.  Our gardening forefathers knew a thing or two and even in a modest garden one can provide the house with much floral cheer. Come to think of it why aren’t more of us growing flowers for cutting? Can I put in a gentle plea for this and is not there a huge potential for a Welsh revival of cut-flower growing?

I am sure in the grand days of Middleton Hall not only would there have been fruit and vegetables there would have been a cutting garden providing the great house with armfuls of flowers for decoration. For those who say to me if you can’t eat it why grow it (and they are many), quite simply there is money in cut-flower and home grown has to be the sustainable way to go. What do I know?  I just love the pleasure of growing flowers!

Simon Goodenough

3rd October 2013

  • Liz

    My name is Liz and I’m contacting you from Silver River Productions, a TV company based in London. We are currently in production for a BBC2 primetime gardening show ‘The Big Allotment Challenge.’

    The series follows a handful of talented amateur kitchen gardeners as they transform a plot of earth in our walled garden into a patch of beauty and reveal all the wonderful possibilities that can be unlocked from allotment growing.

    We are looking for contestants to feature in the series, those who have the skill and dedication and who could dig their way to victory and be crowned the winner of ‘The Big Allotment Challenge.’ People who can cultivate the perfect carrot, make their green tomatoes into tasty chutney and turn their dahlias and sweet peas into floral arrangements.

    So whether you’re an allotmenteer, a city living window box grower, or a gardening enthusiast, we want to hear from you. We are coming to the end of our application process so email for an application form today!