Garden blogs

Growing the Future Newsletter – October 11

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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.

Wales Fungus Day

October 14th promises to be a fung-tastic day at the National Botanic Garden of Wales’ 7th annual Wales Fungus Day. A venue that knows how to put the fun into fungi, visitors will find a mix of science, fun, art and magic here that will appeal to anyone curious about the strange but fascinating kingdom of fungi.  With a fab programme of talks and guided walks, visitors to Wales Fungus Day can pick up some handy basic identification techniques and find out what fungi you can eat – and what you really shouldn’t eat – and get tips about how to grow edible mushrooms on books, straw, logs and even old coffee beans.

There’ll be an array of trade and activity stalls in the Botanic Garden’s iconic Great Glasshouse, including woodworkers, crafters, and mushroom activities for all – which shouldn’t take up too ‘mushroom’ in the world’s largest single-span glasshouse! Outdoors, the National Botanic Garden of Wales is a great place to come and look for wild fungi, and you’ll find all types of mushroom-friendly habitat here – woods, fields, lawns and flower beds. There’s even a meadow that has an internationally important collection of multi-coloured waxcap fungi. People concerned about the ash dieback fungal disease that is killing many of our Welsh ash trees can also find out the research Botanic Garden is taking part in to understand this devastating threat.

Event organiser Bruce Langridge says “Our Wales Fungus Day has been such a hit that the concept has mushroomed into a UK Fungus Day event spread across over 80 venues in the UK. We know how important it is to make Fungus Day appeal to all ages and abilities, as this fascinating and mysterious lifeform is a crucial part of our ecosystem and yet very few people understand or appreciate its value. It’s our job as a national botanic garden to excite interest and to spread knowledge about the wonderful world of fungi.”

Younger visitors will love the fungi face painting, wooden toadstool making and fungi themed activities throughout the day. They’ll also have the chance to explore the fungi-rich Fairy Wood where they can look for signs of domestic fairy life and post a letter to the fairies in the fairy village.  Ballet lovers will also enjoy fairy and fungi inspired performances by Llangain Youth Ballet and there’s free Garden entry to anyone dressed as a fairy or elf to this magical day!

This event is part of the National Botanic Garden of Wales’ Growing the Futureproject.  This project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

The Garden is open from 10am to 6pm with last entry at 5pm. Admission to the Garden is £14.50 (including Gift Aid) for adults and this includes entry to the new British Birds of Prey attraction. Under 5s are free and parking is free for all.

For more information about this or other events, please call 01558 667149 or email gtf@gardenofwales.org.uk.

 

Garden Plants of Distinction: Perennials Course

On Saturday, October 20th, join the Botanic Garden’s Curator, Will Ritchie, for a Garden Plants of Distinction Course.

Garden centres and nurseries contain a wealth of plants of every hue and form.  Finding the best plants for your garden can be a daunting task.  This course aims to celebrate the diversity of perennials available on the market and highlight some of the Curator’s top picks.

A simple guide to finding the best perennials for your border or planter will also be included and the course will conclude with a visit to the Garden’s nurseries..

Booking is essential.  10am-2pm.  £40 (£36 Concessions & Garden Members) – for more information, including how to book, please call 01558 667150 or email gtf@gardenofwales.org.uk.

 

Bee Garden Cosmetics and Candle Making Courses

If you’d like to learn how to create your own beautiful handmade gifts this Christmas we have a wonderful range of Bee Garden Cosmetics, Introduction to Candle Making and Introduction to Candle Dipping courses.

From homemade lip balms and body butters to handmade dipped beeswax candles, you’ll really impress your loved ones this year with help from Growing the Future’s Ecosystems Trainer, Lynda Christie!

Please visit the Growing the Future page on the Botanic Garden’s website for more information on dates.

 

Apple Weekend

The Garden again plays host to the largest apple display in Wales this year, during Apple Weekend on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st of October.

In addition to the ever-popular apple identification service and apple tasting opportunities, we are delighted this year to be promoting the new book “Apples in Wales” a book written to highlight Welsh apple varieties and the part apples have played in Wales and its history down the centuries.  A talk about the research conducted to produce the book will be given by the author Carwyn Graves on Saturday 20th October.

Also in attendance for the weekend will be Paul Davis of Dolau Hirion Nurseries who will be selling trees of Welsh apple varieties as well as giving advice about the varieties to grow in your garden.

The Garden has also been awarded National Plant Collection status for the Welsh varieties of apples in the Garden’s Orchard and the weekend will give an opportunity to open the orchard officially.

 

5-Week Beekeeping Theory Sessions: Winter Season

On Wednesday, October 31st, join Growing the Future’s Ecosystems Trainer, Lynda Christie, for the first of five weekly beekeeping theory sessions.
Five weekly classroom sessions on beekeeping throughout the year.  Whether you’re a beginner or an improving beekeeper, develop your season-specific knowledge and confidence in maintaining your own colonies/apiary.

Booking is essential.  6.30-9pm.  £150 (£135 Concessions & Garden Members) – for more information, including how to book, please call 01558 667150 or email gtf@gardenofwales.org.uk.

 

Plantable Pencils!

Our plantable pencils have finally started sprouting!

These fab sprouting pencils are available to buy in Garden’s Gift Shop and are available in 9 different varieties, which include: Basil, Coriander, Sage, Chia, Thyme, Tomato, Carnation, Forget Me Not and Sunflower!  £2.50 each.

Simply write, draw and doodle until only the stub is left, then plant upside down and watch it spring to life!

 

Beekeeping Courses

Whether you’re a beginner or an improving beekeeper, develop your knowledge, skills and confidence in maintaining your own colonies with a Growing the Future Beekeeping Course.

Booking is essential.  For more information on any of the courses below, including how to book, please call 01558 667150 or email gtf@gardenofwales.org.uk

Beekeeping Taster Course
2019: Wednesday April 24th, Saturday June 15th, Sunday July 21st & Friday August 9th – 11am-2pm

An introduction to the Growing the Future project and why we have honeybees at the National Botanic Garden of Wales.  Learn about the honeybee colony and visit the Garden’s Bee Garden, put on a bee suit, open a hive and be shown its occupants, including workers, drones and the Queen.
£35 (£32 Concessions & Garden Members)

Bee Garden Cosmetics Course
Saturday November 17th – 11am-2pm

Learn about the products of the hive produced by the honeybees, including beeswax and honey and their use in beauty products.  Learn the principles of soap-making with a demonstration on making honey soap.  Create products to take home including lip balm, body butter and face cream.
£45 (£41 Concessions & Garden Members)

Introduction to Candle Making
Saturday December 1st – 10am-2pm
Learn about the products of the hive produced by the honeybees, including beeswax and its use in candles.  Learn the principles of candle rolling and moulding, and create your own candles to take home.
£45 (£41 Concessions & Garden Members)

Introduction to Candle Dipping
Wednesday December 5th – 10am-2pm
Learn about the products of the hive produced by the honeybees, including beeswax and its use in candles.  Learn the principles of candle dipping and create your own candles to take home.
£45 (£41 Concessions & Garden Members)

5-Week Beekeeping Theory Sessions – Winter Season
Wednesday October 31st & November 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th – 6.30-9pm

Five weekly classroom sessions on beekeeping throughout the year.  Whether you’re a beginner or an improving beekeeper, develop your season-specific knowledge and confidence in maintaining your own colonies/apiary.
£150 (£135 Concessions & Garden Members)

 

Horticulture & Science Courses

There’s a whole range of Practical Horticulture and Science & Horticulture courses to suit everyone, from planting design for beginners to creating a sensory garden, develop your gardening knowledge and skills with a Growing the Future course.

Science in the Garden
Saturday November 24th – 10.30am-3.30pm

Join our Head of Science, Dr Natasha de Vere, for a behind-the-scenes tour of the Botanic Garden, including science labs, herbarium and plant nurseries.

Find out about the Garden’s work saving plants and pollinators throughout the world.  Then, have a go yourself!  Get your lab coats on, extract DNA from plants and use microscopes to view their hidden inner world.
£35 (£32 Concessions & Garden Members)

Captivating Conifers
2019: Thursday January 24th / Saturday February 9th – 10.30am-3pm
Conifers are a fascinating group of plants, including cedars, firs, hemlocks, larches, pines and spruces.  During this course Growing the Future’s Science Officer, Dr Kevin McGinn, will introduce the key features used to identify different conifer families and species and will explain the origins of some ‘dwarf’ garden conifers.  The course will begin in our teaching lab, moving on to a tour of of conifers in the Garden’s living collections.  Beginners and improvers welcome.
£35 (£32 Concessions & Garden Members)

Booking is essential – for more information, including how to book, please call 01558 667150 or email gtf@gardenofwales.org.uk.