We have come to love visiting gardens in the rain. We put up the brollies and huddle together for protection and just defy the downpours. But on a November day at The Botanic Gardens of Wales the rain was so heavy it beat even us! It was horrendous! This beautiful piece of sculpture managed to glow out in the gloom. It looked like the bark of a tree or the structure of ivy climbing a wall or …….. whatever you wish.
We did though enjoy a little time in the rain but soon escaped by making for the magnificent glasshouse. The glasshouse emerges from the gently sloping landscape like an armadillo. On this visit it was barely visible against the low deep grey clouds.
Once inside, the curving lines spanning overhead immediately drew our eyes upward. When architects get greenhouses right they can be dramatic and powerful but still gentle and full of beautiful curves. This is one of the best we have ever visited if not the best of all. It looks so good from both inside and out. From the outside it emerges from the countryside as if it is meant to be there, enhancing the undulation it sits on. From inside it cocoons the visitor in an atmosphere of warmth and greenery.
The plant life housed there sits happily in micro-climates made for them. Greenhouse often seem to contain big blousie blooms with too much colour and all full of drama but here things had a subtle beauty. Very stylish. Often the colours were very delicate.
Bright colours weren’t altogether absent though with plenty of fiery oranges and gaudy pinks. We were taken aback by the size of this Leonotis as it soared to over head height alongside the path. At home in our garden we get it to grow to about two feet tall.
Blue flowers are often not a pure blue but these definitely were as blue as could possibly be.
We enjoyed studying the foliage here as much as the flowers, with so much variation in size, colour, texture and shape.
This Robin was enjoying reading the info on this sign but we were more impressed by those signs which relied on simple symbols demarcating each zone.
We were amused when we came across this warning triangle, not the usual red unfriendly type found on roadsides but a green edged warning that gardeners were at work. The gardeners were very friendly ones too!
After wandering around the giant glasshouse absorbed in the beauty of plants from around the temperate world we deserved our lunch break. We shared our break with our red-breasted friend who seemed to have followed us from the glasshouse.
Some original and colourful craftwork graced the foyer. This piece was created using broken pottery shards. Join us in part two when we braved the heavy rain for as long as we could.