26 Jan 2017

Garden Newsletter – January 26

Ardd Fotaneg · Botanic Garden

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Welsh treasures in the Garden

A treasure trove of the unusual and unique with a strong Welsh flavour is set to transform the National Botanic Garden of Wales, as the Derwen Antiques Fairprepares to return.

Antiques, collectables, retro and vintage will take centre stage among the rare and endangered blooms at the Carmarthenshire attraction on January 28 and 29.

The Derwen Fairs flagship event has increased from just 23 stalls in the early days, to more than 100 dotted around the site including Theatr Botanica, the Garden Marquee and the impressive Regency-era Principality House.

Visitors can view Welsh art, Welsh pottery and Welsh oak furniture among the Mediterranean plants in Lord Norman Foster’s Great Glasshouse, and a vintage market will take over the entire courtyard.

Organiser Brita Rogers said: “There are fewer antique fairs in Wales these days. We want to cater for everyone, from those interested in collecting traditional antiques to others looking for something a bit retro. We thought we would go with the times.”

A large range of country pine furniture, rare books, Treen and Ewenny pottery will be on show along with taxidermy and the exotic. The Vintage Market houses smaller marquees showing off vintage toys, clothing and retro furniture plus numerous up-cycled furniture and quirky items.

Brita added: “The fair will showcase Welsh areas of collecting including Welsh pottery, Welsh art and furniture. Richard Bebb will be displaying a rich array of Welsh paintings including artists such as Kyffin Williams. Welsh textiles will also be a main feature at the fair. There will be a huge range of welsh tapestry blankets on display with their extensive colour range and intrinsic patterns.”

A selection of militaria stands will display unusual items, including rare medals, military swords and vintage fire arms. From furniture to fishing reels, Persian carpets to exquisite jewellery, most areas of collecting will be included, plus some rare items.

One important collection to be showcased is an interesting collection of Wemyss ware. This line of pottery hailed from Kirkcaldy in Fyfe, Scotland and is popular with collectors, with some rarer items commanding four figure sums.BBC TV’s Bargain Hunt programme recently filmed their at the Botanic Garden fair, with one contestant picking a rare Wemyss piece decorated with a daffodil to take to auction. Helen and Alistair, who sold the pot, are back to display their impressive Wemyss collection, including a rare heart-shaped inkwell.

The Garden and the fair are open from 10am to 4.30pm (last entry is 3.30pm). Admission to the garden is £3, with free parking.

For more information about this event and other Garden events, call 01558 667149, visit our website, or email info@gardenofwales.org.uk 

For more info about Derwen Antiques, visit www.derwenantiques.co.uk


Fit For Free

It’s your last week to try out the Garden’s new ‘Fit For Free‘ trails and to enjoy FREE entry on January weekdays.

We have created a series of trails around the Garden – some on flat paths to suit strollers, pushchairs and wheelchairs; and some more rugged, off-road routes around the estate, passing the waterfall.

What better way to try out your new fitness gadget, dig out and dust off that FitBit you were given last Christmas and clock up a serious number of steps?

The various trails are clearly way-marked and there’s a free map to
accompany you on your journey – the map is also downloadable if you want to check it out pre-visit.

And each route has a ‘cupcake’ rating that indicates the degree of difficulty.

If you can only make it to the Garden at the weekend, it’s not the end of the world because entry is only £3 on Saturdays and Sundays.


★ Star Party ★

Swansea Astronomical Society are hosting the latest National Botanic Garden of Wales stargazing event on Saturday February 3rd, from 6pm-9pm.

All the action, including a talk, takes place in and around the Great Glasshouse and, given clear skies, you could see our nearest galaxy, Andromeda.  There will be presentations, talks and telescopes trained on the night sky. There will also be a ‘scope clinic so if you had a new telescope for Christmas, bring it along and discover how to get the best out of it.

£3 Entry, under 16’s free.


Snowdrop Weekend

Snowdrops are the centre of attention for a special weekend devoted to these pretty, delicate harbingers of spring – taking place at the National Botanic Garden of Wales on February 4th & 5th.

Galanthophile and horticulture expert Naomi Slade will be our very special guide for this two-day celebration and will lead us on a tour of the Garden’ssnowdrop hotspots.

A self-led trail around the various snowdrop highlights is also available to visitors in the run-up to the weekend event as well as on the 4th and 5th.

Doggy Day

This coming Monday will again see the Garden welcoming visitors and their four-legged-friends.

And, as it will be a January weekday, entry to the Garden will be completely FREE!

Dogs must be kept on a non-extendable lead at all times and, due to the rare and valuable plants and butterflies, are not permitted into the Butterfly House.

Due to popular demand the Garden has monthly Doggy Weekends planned for the upcoming months.  And don’t forget, through the winter – every Monday is Doggy Day!

Welly Wednesday

Welly Wednesday features an hour of fun, outdoor activities, storytelling and exploring for pre-schoolers and is a great way for parents to get their toddlers close to nature with 60 minutes of fun in the woods with water and mud – whatever the weather!

Activities start at 11am from the Gatehouse, normal entry price applies to adults and children under 5 years old are free.

For more information, contact the Education Department on 01558 667150.