Garden blogs

Growing the Future Newsletter – March 13


Welcome to Growing the Future‘s latest newsletter, if you’d like to receive it directly to your inbox, sign-up here.

See the full newsletter here.

Garden’s Gold

This week saw the first-ever bottling of the Botanic Garden’s honey for the Garden’s shop!

Here’s Growing the Future’s Ecosystems Trainer and Beekeeper, Lynda, with her volunteers, Sonia and Mandy, busy filling and labelling honey jars.

Garden’s Gold – honey from the honeybees at the National Botanic Garden of Wales – coming soon!

If you’d like to try your hand at beekeeping, Lynda’s running a variety of beekeeping courses throughout the year, which range from beekeeping taster sessions to 5-week theory and practical classes.


Herb ‘Thyme’

On Thursday, March 21st, join Growing the Future’s Horticultural Trainer, Susan O’ Brien, for a Herb ‘Thyme’ course.

Create a sensory experience with herbs and bring an added dimension to your garden.

Identify annuals, biennials and perennials for use.  Learn how to grow from seeds, cuttings and plugs in the polytunnel.

See how to combine with existing planting and weave a tapestry for the senses throughout your space.

Take away tips on cutting for drying and other methods of preserving flavours.

Booking is essential.  10am-2pm.  £33 (£30 Concessions & Garden Members).  For more information, including how to book, please call 01558 667150, email or visit the Garden’s Eventbrite page.

Daffodil Day – Saturday March 23rd

As Wales’ national flower, it makes perfect sense for the magnificent daffodil to be so well represented at the National Botanic Garden of Wales.

Since opening in 2000, the Garden has shown over 50 varieties of this showy, distinctive beauty.

The Growing the Future project’s Daffodil Day will help you to understand the subtle differences between daffodil varieties and show you where to look for them.

There will be an indoor talk at 11.30am in the Paxton Room of Principality House by co-author of the Garden’s new Daffodils booklet, Dr Kevin McGinn, Growing the Future’s Science Officer, followed by an outdoor tour of the Garden’s late spring collections at 1.30pm, plus daffodil craft stalls in the iconic Great Glasshouse.  Spaces on the daffodils talk and walk are bookable via the Garden’s Eventbrite page.

To coincide with the Garden’s new Daffodils booklet and to draw attention to our fascinating variations, photographer and Garden volunteer, Mike Danford, was asked to search for and record a varied selection of the Garden’s living daffodil collection in 2018.  The result is an amazing Daffodils exhibition in the Garden’s Gallery which will run until Sunday, April 7th.  Prints of a selection of images can be purchased in the Garden’s Gift Shop.

There’ll be a beeswax candle rolling and daffodil decoration demonstration on the Great Glasshouse’s stage at 11am, 1.30pm and 3pm by Growing the Future’s Ecosystems Trainer and Beekeeper, Lynda Christie.  Learn about the products of the hive produced by the honeybees, including beeswax and its use in candles.  Spaces for this demonstration are bookable via the Garden’s Eventbrite page.  If you’re inspired by Lynda’s demonstration, she’ll be holding a Beeswax Daffodil Making Course on Wednesday, April 3rd.


Beeswax Flower Making: Daffodils

On Wednesday, April 3rd, join Growing the Future’s Ecosystems Trainer, Lynda Christie, for a Beeswax Daffodils course.

Learn about the structure and anatomy of a daffodil and the properties of beeswax for modelling.

Reconstruct your own flower using beeswax to take home.

Booking is essential.  10.30am-2.30pm.  £45 (£41 Concessions & Garden Members).  For more information, including how to book, please call 01558 667150, email or visit the Garden’s Eventbrite page.


DATES ADDED – No-Dig Gardening: A Practical Introduction

On Thursday March 28th, or Monday April 8th, join guest horticultural trainer, Mark Sheppard, for a one-day introductory course on the benefits of no-dig gardening.

Growing amazing food shouldn’t be backbreaking work. This fascinating course will teach you why changing to a no-dig system will not only save your back but also increase biodiversity, reduce CO2, improve soil structure while producing wonderful, healthy organic fruit and vegetables.

Booking is essential.  10am-4pm.  £40 (£36 Concessions & Garden Members).  For more information, including how to book, please call 01558 667150 or email

Permaculture and Nutrition in International Development Event

On Friday, March 22nd, join Hub Cymru Africa for their Permaculture and Nutrition in International Development event.

Come and learn more about permaculture projects in Sub Saharan Africa and share your experiences of food growing and healthy eating projects.

The day will include talks from Natalie Danford and Elizabeth Westaway with discussion sessions exploring how we can best; manage soil health to grow nutrient dense food, and the importance of adapting to conditions and circumstances.

Held at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, in partnership with Growing the Future; there will be tasty healthy food to eat and an opportunity to network and learn from groups and charities from across Wales.

This free event is open to all individuals, groups and charities working or interested in International Development with a Permaculture or Nutrition focus. The event finishes at 3.30pm but with free access to the National Botanic Garden of Wales included, there’s no need to rush home.

Please book your free ticket through Eventbrite.