Wallace Garden

The Wallace Garden aims to raise understanding and interest in plant breeding and genetics

The curving pathways in the Wallace Garden reflect the shape of the DNA double helix, and break the oval enclosure into a series of attractive themed beds. These show how humans have created a dazzling variety of cultivated varieties from wild species such as sweet peas, sunflowers and dahlias.

Along the south wall, there is fascinating display of the evolution of the first plants on Earth – from mosses and liverworts through horsetails to the tree ferns and conifers that dominate just before the evolution of flowering plants.

This garden is named in honour of the Usk-born naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913), whose own work on the theory of evolution by means of natural selection prompted Charles Darwin to publish his ‘On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection’. In 2008, we celebrated Wallace’s life with a specially commissioned play written by Gaynor Styles of Theatr na nÓg and performed by Ioan Hefin inside the Wallace Garden for both school groups and general visitors.