Resources for Gardeners

Here, you’ll find advice and tips from our experts to get you growing and gardening at your very best!

Click on the headings below for more information and useful, downloadable documents.

Welsh Tree Leaves

Wales is home to a variety of trees and many of them are considered sacred in Celtic mythology, whether as symbols or due to their medicinal properties.

Use our helpful Welsh Tree Leaves resource to identify some common trees.

Wildflower Guides

Wildflowers of March

March is the first month of spring and wildflowers are beginning to bloom.  Find out which species to look for in this helpful guide by the Biophilic Wales project.

Wildflowers of April

April is one of the best months for wildflowers, particularly woodland species.

Biophilic Wales have created this fab identification guide, how many of them can you spot?

Wildflowers of May

In late spring, hedgerows are full of wildflowers and meadows begin to come alive.

Biophilic Wales have created this fab identification guide for wildflowers in May, how many of these species can you find?

Wildflowers of June

June is the peak of wildflowers in Britain, with more flowers in bloom than in any other month.

Biophilic Wales have made this downloadable guide to help you identify some native wildflowers you can find in June.

Wildflowers of July

In July, meadows have reached maturity and the wildflowers of late spring have waned and set seed. The grasses are tall and lush and sway in the gentle breeze, sheltering the mammals and insects that live in the undergrowth.

Biophilic Wales have made this downloadable guide to help you identify some native wildflowers you can find in July.

Wildflowers of August

As the nights begin to draw in, the first yellow leaves of autumn begin to appear. However, the end of summer still provides some spectacular displays of colour.

Discover some of August’s wildflowers in this downloadable guide by Biophilic Wales.

Plants for Pollinators

Early Spring Plants for Pollinators

Here, you’ll find information on the best plants for pollinators to look out for in the early season of April and May, based on the research carried out at the National Botanic Garden of Wales.

It includes which pollinator species are likely to be found on these species, along with some hints and tips on how to encourage their growth to increase the available forage for pollinators.

Early Summer Plants for Pollinators

By the time we reach early summer, the foraging habits of pollinators have changed dramatically.  Research carried out at the National Botanic Garden of Wales has revealed the plants most sought-after by pollinators during June and July.

These plants are described here, along with the pollinators which are likely to be found feasting on them.

Create a Special Spring Haven for Pollinators

Want to grow plants that are perfect for pollinators?  As pollinating insects emerge on warm days in late winter and early spring, they seek their first meals of the season.

Based on their cutting-edge research, scientists at the National Botanic Garden of Wales have revealed a hit-list of recommendations for some of the best spring garden plants, to plant in autumn.

Planting for Pollinators

By planting the right kind of plants in your garden, you can help pollinating insects.

Gardens are an increasingly important wildlife habitat in Wales, whether they be in towns and cities, as well as villages and isolated farmhouses. If you could make your garden into a larder for bees, hoverflies, butterflies and beetles, you will also help to build up wild populations of pollinating insects.  Our Pollinating Plants booklet will introduce you to ten of the most important plant families for pollinating insects in Wales.

Gardening for Pollinators

Flower visiting insects are vital pollinators of the food we eat and their dramatic decline and loss of health is a major cause for concern.  Pollinators are diverse, including bumblebees, hoverflies, solitary bees, butterflies and honeybees.  The loss of flower-rich habitat, climate change and pesticide use has had a major impact on both our wild and managed pollinators.

Gardens are becoming increasingly important refuges for pollinators and other wildlife.  Here, you’ll find some tips on how to attract more pollinators to your garden.

Blog: It’s Time to go Peat-free

As a gardener, one of the best things you can do for the environment is to abandon the use of peat compost. Healthy plants can be grown without using any peat – the National Botanic Garden of Wales, many other botanic gardens and the National Trust have been fully peat-free for many years.

The Growing the Future project and the Botanic Garden’s horticulturists have been trying out a variety of peat-free composts. The results are positive all round!

The compost industry has been working hard to develop good sustainable alternatives to peat – the quality and consistency of these products has improved greatly and there is an ever-increasing range.

Blog: Make Your Lawn More Friendly for Wildlife by Dr Kevin McGinn

Mown lawns can be an important part of gardens, but if you have space, why not give an area of your lawn over to nature, turning it into your own mini native wildflower meadow?

Imagine a mix of meadow grasses and colourful wildflowers swaying in the summer breeze, providing a display for many weeks and a space to watch wildlife on your doorstep. Meadows are a haven for insects, like bees and butterflies, also for birds and small mammals. If you provide the right habitats in your garden, the wildlife will move in.

Find out more on transforming your lawn into a meadow in this blog written by Growing the Future’s Science Officer, Dr Kevin McGinn.

Blog: All about Bee Hotels and how to make your own!

Did you know that the majority of bees are queenless, don’t produce honey and don’t live in colonies or hives? Learn all about bee hotels in this blog by Dr Abigail Lowe and download instructions on how to make various designs of hotel.

Leaf Shapes and Leaf Margins

Spring has arrived and the trees are slowly starting to flower and come into leaf again. Leaves come in a variety of shapes and sizes, we’ve created these helpful guides on how to identify different leaf shapes, arrangements and margins.

Blog: Where Are All the Bees?

We, as humans, can cope with winter by wrapping up warm and spending the majority of our time indoors. But how do bees survive this harsh season?

Find out in this new blog by Botanic Garden PhD Student, Abigail Lowe.

Blog: Tomatoes, Bulbs and Wildflowers

Now the days are getting shorter and more humid, blight is a real risk for any tomatoes you may have left over. Bulbs are coming back into the shops now, and it’s a good idea to start thinking about what bulbs you would like and how many you will need to fill out your display. It’s time to cut back any wildflower patches you have in your gardens, by now they should have set seed and be ready for a good cut back, setting them up nicely for next year.

Learn what needs to be done in the garden at this time of year in this blog by our Horticultural Trainer, Ben.

Blog: Successful Seed Storage at Home

Seed can be expensive and saving your own takes time, so it’s worth putting some effort into storing your seed well, to keep it as fresh as possible until sowing time.

For the seed bank at the Botanic Garden, we collect, dry, clean and store seeds of wild Welsh plants for future conservation and restoration uses.

Some of the techniques we use in the seed bank can be applied to storing seed in the home – here are some tips.

Blog: Successful Seed Saving at Home

When it comes to gardening in a self-sufficient way, nothing beats saving your own seed.

For our seed bank at the Botanic Garden, we collect, dry, clean and store seeds of wild Welsh plants for future conservation and restoration uses.

Many of the techniques we use to professionally conserve this seed can be applied to saving seeds from your garden – here’s a guide.

Success with Seeds: A Beginner’s Guide

Sowing seeds and watching seedlings emerge from the soil is incredibly rewarding. If you’re starting out on your gardening ventures and are thinking about sowing seeds indoors or outdoors, this guide is for you.

Sowing seed is simple, fast and cost effective. This guide will take you through the process step by step.

Urban Gardening

Knowing what to grow can be a challenge, but it’s always best to choose your plants based on the environment you have available, so for example, if your garden is shady, try to avoid plants that need a lot of sun.  Take a look at the different crops here to find one that suits you and your garden.