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Legendary landscape brought back to the future
The National Botanic Garden of Wales is celebrating a lottery award that will kick-start the biggest development in its history.
A grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund announced on March 1st is the final piece of the jigsaw signalling the launch of the construction phase of a £7.2 million project to restore the legendary landscape of one of the finest Regency waterparks in Britain.
The original owners of the estate where the Garden now stands, the Middleton family, began to lay out formal gardens from the late 16th century using wealth gained from procuring spices, herbs and other goods as founders of the East India Company in the early 1600s.
It was not until the estate was bought by MP for Carmarthen, Sir William Paxton, in 1789 that the grounds came into their own.
Protegé of world-famous landscape architect, Capability Brown, Samuel Lapidge was commissioned to design the landscape and gardens to include an innovative water park with water flowing around the estate linked by a network of dams, sluices, bridges and cascades.
It is these ground-breaking water features that will be brought back to life for modern day visitors to enjoy.
Director of The National Botanic Garden of Wales, Huw Francis said: “Spring has certainly sprung here at the Garden, with this fantastic news chiming in a fresh season and a fresh chapter in our history too.
“Since we opened in 2000, we have always wanted to celebrate not only our horticulture but also our heritage.
Mr Francis added that the restoration work will happen alongside an exciting programme of activities and events providing a range of opportunities for people to get involved.
The news is timely not only coinciding with the Visit Wales ‘Year of Legends’ and ‘Year of the Sea’, but also the enormous popularity of the BBC TV series ‘Taboo’ in which the East India Company has a key role amid a dramatic and compelling cocktail of conspiracy, betrayal and bloodshed. The Garden’s heritage and history is inextricably linked to the Company, from its first flourishings to its decline at the end of the 19th century.
Work is planned to commence later this year.
March is Daffodil Month at the National Botanic Garden which means it’s time for a springtime walk among the drifts of daffodils, and we have thousands of them!
With more than 50 varieties of daffodil to discover, including some special Welsh varieties, the Garden is a wonderful place to come and learn about and enjoy Wales’s national flower.
You can collect a Daffodil Trail of the Garden from the Gatehouse and select from a great range of Narcissi in our Y Pot Blodyn plant shop.
March – A Month of Music
There’s a Month of Music in March with choirs, bands and other performers in action in the Great Glasshouse EVERY weekend throughout the month.
Music will be on from 11am until 3:30pm on every weekend, with music on until 4:30pm on Saturday March 25th.
The Garden’s new spring 2017 events brochure is now available and is jam-packed with events, family fun, music and activities from now until the end of June.
Pick one up on your next visit, or click here to view an online version so you don’t miss out on anything!