Saturday for Stairs - Welsh National Botanical Gardens.
Do we "Check out up the steps or do we Run for cover"
The National Botanic Garden of Wales (NBGW) is situated near Llanarthney in the Towy Valley, Carmarthenshire, Wales. The garden is both a visitor attraction and a centre for botanical research and conservation, and features the world's largest single-span glasshouse measuring 110 m (360 ft) long by 60 m (200 ft) wide.
In 1978, interest had been captured by local walkers, who were keen to revive the splendour of what they could see around them. Setting up a fund raising scheme, the little money raised led to the rediscovery of a number of historical features.
The idea for a National Botanic Garden of Wales originated from the Welsh artist, William Wilkins, whose aunt had described to him the ruins of an elaborate water features she had discovered while walking in the local woods at Pont Felin Gat. Under the guidance of the Welsh Historic Gardens Trust, an application was made to the Millennium Commission to fund Britain’s first national botanic garden for 200 years.
Virtually on the site of Cockerell's mansion, the Great Glasshouse now forms the centrepiece. Much of the original water-scape has been restored, and extended by introducing cascades to the western approach to the Glasshouse. The extraordinary original view the east side of the mansion offered over the grounds has been restored, extending as originally to Paxton's Tower in the distance. Many experts have commented that this view gives visitors an ability to see and hence understand something of what the great landscape architects of the end of the eighteenth century understood by the word “Picturesque”.
The Garden was opened to the public for the first time on 24 May 2000, and was officially opened on 21 July by the Prince of Wales. In 2003, the garden ran into serious financial difficulties, and in 2004 it accepted a financial package from the Welsh Assembly Government, Carmarthenshire County Council and the Millennium Commission to secure its future.
The site extends to 568 acres (2.30 km2), and among the garden's rare and threatened plants is the whitebeam Sorbus leyana. 21st Century approaches to recycling and conservation have been used in the design of the centre: biomass recycling is used to provide heating for some of the facilities such as the visitor centre and glasshouses.