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January 26 Botanic Garden of Wales Walk…Again! January 26, 2018

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One can never have too many visits to the Botanic Garden of Wales,  especially in January, when entrance is free during the week!  Weekend entry in January is only £4 and tomorrow 27th and Sunday 28th  there is an Antiques Fair to enjoy too!

Anyway back to my visit today with the Walking Well group led by Philip. Somehow or other he manages to arrange these walks when it is dry and sunny! The weather over the last week has seen our garden flooded!  Today, however,  with the sun shining brightly a large group assembled in the Botanic Garden carpark to begin a figure of eight walk around the parkland.

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The track led us around the perimeter of  the first lake with the Great Glasshouse,

The largest single-span great glasshouse in the world houses the largest collection of Mediterranean plants in the Northern Hemisphere

looking like something from Stars Wars ( I enjoyed The Last of the Jedi..last week!)  set  up high on the opposite bank.  Wonderful reflections of the trees in the water- good enough to paint!

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Brilliant coloured cornus bushes  shone in the sunshine and the aroma from the fountain of green Sarcococca confuse bushes filled the air…everyone stopped  to catch a closer sniff!

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Passing a desolate farmhouse we walked up quite a steep incline until we reached the top. Here  Philip explained there was a spring  hidden behind a locked door and a pump room.

It was well worth carrying on up the hill as looking back we had the most marvellous view over the beautiful Carmarthenshire countryside, including Paxton’s Tower.

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We walked along the ridge of the hill until we dropped down again  from the Parkland towards the Gardens.  We didn’t take a detour into the woods as we were uncertain what we’d find there!

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It wouldn’t be one of Philip’s walks if it didn’t entail some mud walking and some nature spotting. There’s an excellent exhibition on at the present in the Gardens by Julie Sheridan of the Last Gallery, Llangadog . Her  series of paintings depict the symbiotic nature and pattern of lichen.  She may have been able to identify some of our findings!

 

The Ghost Forest was our next stop!

‘This display of tropical tree roots is one of the most significant environmental art installations to come to Wales

The Ghost Forest has come from the tropical rainforests of Ghana .The oldest tree root is 300 years old, the heaviest weighs 19 tonnes

They’re the inspiration of UK based artist Angela Palmer. She was horrified to learn that a tropical forest the size of a rugby pitch is destroyed every four seconds. Just think how much is lost every minute, every hour………every year.
Apart from the huge loss of species, rainforest loss is contributing to climate change.

Angela Palmer made world ambassadors out of these tree roots. She chose Ghana as it now sustainably manages its rainforests. She brought the tree roots to Trafalgar Square, to the Earth Summit in Copenhagen, to Oxford University and now here, their final resting place.’

Lots of photos as they were amazing  especially against the blue, blue sky!

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Time for coffee and cake in the Glasshouse surrounded by exotic  and some recognisable lovely flowers.

 

Also to view were the antiques. The Rupert annual…one of my favourites  as a child… now classed as an antique!! Help!

The view going down the Broadwalk back to the carpark was  far different from last week when everywhere was coated with shiny icy crystals- this week shiny bright sunshine. I do love our changeable Carmarthenshire climate!!

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Thank you Philip for another happy, enjoyable walk.

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January 13 Botanic Garden of Wales Waterfall and Woods Walk January 13, 2017

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Windy, damp and rather chilly  for our first walk of  2017 but lovely to meet up with everyone  and catch up on news.  We’d been promised storms, snow, sleet and gales  and through the last evening and night we’d had all of those  but the morning dawned with no icy  or snow covered roads so the walk through the Botanic Gardens was on! As January has free entry to the Gardens and new  leaflets  detailing the walks it would be silly not to go!

The path took us around the lakes which are hopefully going to be restored  in the future when funding has been raised. The bull kept a watchful eye on us all as we passed by. Love this bull not like the others we have met on previous walks!!

There were dramatic skylines wherever one looked and far in the distance  the snow covered mountains added  a further dimension to the vistas.

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So many suitors for this mallard…poor thing!

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We walked through the fields, through a flock of sheep and through the mud and entered the woodlands. Crossing bridges  and following  leaf strewn paths  amongst  the oak and ash trees  we came to Pont Felin Gat waterfall, which was made 200 years ago as part of the Middleton Hall Regency Park . Beautiful!

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The woodlands hide some of the features that were present many years ago including this spring entrance .

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Crossing over one of the bridges we set off on our return walk through the woods giving us new views of the tumbling water.

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Plans to restore the lakes to their former glory would mean removing all the silt that has accumulated over the years.In the future this would be a viewpoint over one restored lake…can’t wait!

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As we are all children at heart…well I am! …a trek through the Fairy Wood is must!  Something was definitely watching us as we passed through the gate into the ‘magic world’ of fairies!

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Of course, in La La Land boys will be boys and very musical they were too!

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Back in the Gardens we headed passed the  Great Glasshouse to the…you’ve guessed it…the cafe!

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Coffee and delicious cake later we  walked through the double walled garden, another feature of the Regency period,  to the Plas Pilipala -Butterfly House! A wonderful steamy jungle  of a place but a tricky place to keep ones glasses from clouding over! Everyone oohing and aaahing  at the  beautiful butterflies fluttering by and I’m still trying to wipe my  specs dry! I did manage a few shots though..the leaf on the banana  flew away after this shot!

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Another great circular walk completed- steps counted on iPhones , calories used etc. …all to no avail as that chocolate cake was just so delicious!

So no calories or weight lost but a walk in fresh air with pals  in a beautiful garden is all the health  benefits I need!

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