Garden blogs

Newsletter November 20 2018


Welcome to Garden’s latest newsletter, if you’d like to receive it directly to your inbox, sign-up here. Please feel free to let us know what you think and any ideas you have. Enjoy!


Sustainable Christmas

It’s going to be a very Merry and Sustainable Christmas at the National Botanic Garden of Wales this year.

With a seasonal series of workshops and events, we’re aiming to reduce the excess, waste and stress often associated with Christmas.
In a time when we’re all looking to be a bit more environmentally-friendly and reduce our use of single-use plastics, why not learn how to decorate your own brown wrapping paper, how to create a wreath which doubles-up as a bird feeder and how to produce beautiful cyanotype gifts and tags plus much more.

With weekly themes, Growing the Future’s FREE, ethical workshops will teach you how to reuse and recycle items to create your own wrapping, gifts and decorations.  Please book workshops via the Garden’s Eventbrite page.  Please note that the free workshops do not include entry to the Garden, please see here for entry prices.

Our Christmas doesn’t stop there!
On December 8 and 9 the Garden’s popular Christmas Craft Fair returns and is offering something for everyone looking to buy that perfect last-minute gift. From handmade scented candles and fudge, and artisan jewellery to homewares and glassware items! The Garden will also be welcoming Mess Up The Mess for their festive pantomime Winter Wonder World for the weekend and Santa Claus will be in the Garden 12-3pm!

On December 15 and 16 indulge yourself in some seasonal Christmas treats at the National Botanic Garden’s popular Christmas Food Fair. There’ll be lots of tasty treats on offer which includes luxury cakes by The Apprentice winner – Alana Spencer, cheese, chocolate and chutney, honey, baked goods and cider, smoked meats and coffee, and many more festive treats! The Garden will also be welcoming Mess Up The Mess for their festive pantomime The Last Quest for the weekend and Santa Claus will be in the Garden 12-3pm!

Christmas this year is going to be a hoot as the Garden and British Bird of Prey Centre will host daily Owl Shows at 1pm from December 5-23.  Shows include flying owl displays, festive music and games, and you’ll get to meet our Santa Owl! The Owl Shows will cost will an additional £3.50 per person – this also includes entry to the British Bird of Prey Centre and their daily flying displays.

We’ll also be offering Christmas dinner at the Garden. The Christmas menu begins on Monday 3 December and will run until Sunday 23 December. For enquiries need contact 01558 667141 or


A Celebration of the Women of Middleton and the Estates of Wales

As part of its Regency Restoration project “Middleton: Paradise Regained” on November 24 and 25 of November, the Garden will be celebrating Middleton women and women of the landed estates of Wales.

There will be a weekend of talks, walks and exhibitions celebrating the roles and experiences of these women.

Inspired by Alice Abadam and her role in the women’s suffrage movement these celebrations coincide with the centenary of the first votes for women and are in partnership with the Institute for the Study of Welsh Estates (ISWE Bangor University), Women’s Archive Wales and Carmarthenshire Antiquarians.

For a copy of the programmes and more information on the event click here.

Tickets are £6 per day which includes entry to the Garden and tea/coffee. To book your ticket for Saturday click here and for Sunday click here.


Science in the Garden Course

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 on November 24.

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.

Booking is essential – call 01557 667150.  Course delivered as part of the Growing the Future project.

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.


Membership As A Gift

National Botanic Garden membership is the gift that keeps on giving.

Enjoy the splendour and the beauty of this very special place 363 days of the year – from as little as £38.

The perfect present. Now and for the future.

For more information about the different types of membership on offer, take a look at our membership page or call Jane on 01558 667118 or our Admissions team on 01558 667149. Or email


Nordic Walking

Nordic Walking takes place in the Garden every Monday.

Adventure Walk 12.30pm – a social walk enjoying the beautiful surroundings & finishing with a cup of tea.

Wellbeing Walk 1.30pm – A gentle walk for those concerned about distance or pace.

Regular taster sessions courses will help you learn how to Nordic Walk for fitness, weight loss, and fun.

For more information please contact Becki at Pilates in the Nordic on 07502 215827 or or visit their website.


Buggy Running

There are FREE Buggy Running sessions every Tuesday at 10am, in conjunction with Welsh Athletics and Mudiad Meithrin.

Buggy Running is for families who want to walk, jog or run with their little ones.

Participants should meet at the café near the main Garden entrance. A buggy that is suitable for jogging is essential.

The sessions are led by a qualified Ti a Fi run leader. Places are limited so please book your buggy running place via EventBrite.

For more information about Buggy Running at the Botanic Garden, contact or


The British Bird of Prey Centre


The British Bird of Prey Centre has been awarded number 1 on the list of top things to do in Carmarthen on Trip Advisor. The centre has a specialist collection of British raptors, focusing on the welfare and conservation of our native species of birds of prey.

The new centre is based in the National Botanic Garden of Wales, so you can visit during your day in the Garden.

Daily Flying Displays Timetable

11.30am – Flying Display (45 minutes)

1pm – Owl Flying & Talk (30 minutes)

2.30 – Flying Display (45 minutes)

3.30 – Conservation Talk (30 minutes)

Open daily.

You can also have Half a Day Flying Experience with an experienced falconer!

These amazing experiences include 2.5 hours of flying 4 different species of birds. Photographs, refreshments and entry into the Garden are included in the price. It’s a 100% unique and private show for you to experience!

Adults £75

Children (5-16) £30*

Family (2+2) £199
*Under 5’s fly free of charge. All children must be accompanied by a full paying adult.

Taster sessions are also available where you can fly red kites and many more birds for an additional £10.

To book your place: Call: 01437 751725 or email:


Welly Wednesday

Welly Wednesday activities are at 11am and are included in the price of entry (under 5s are free) and run every Wednesday during term time.

This week’s activity, 21 November is called  ‘Fox in his Den’. The children will learn that foxes live in dens under the ground. We will make a large den that the children can explore with torches.  They will also make a fox finger puppet to take home. At the end they will learn a fox song and listen to a fox story.

Next week’s activity 28 November, is a session called ‘Winter Birds’. The children will find the birds hidden in the woods. They will learn about how they find food in the winter.  We will dig for worms and also make an apple and seed bird feeder to hang in the trees in the woods or take home.  There will be a bird story and bird songs at the end of the session.


Doggy Days and Weekends

We have a new Doggy Day! As well as every Monday, Friday will also be Doggy Day at the Garden. Bring your pet pooch for a lovely walk around our beautiful Garden.

Our next Doggy Weekends are on:
December 22-23
January 5-6
February 9-10
March 16-17
April 6-7

The Garden’s Doggy Day rules urge all owners to be responsible and clean up after your dog, and keep you dogs on a non-extendable lead at all times.