I've been to lots of gardens on my travels but most have been well established ones, set up many decades ago. By contrast, the National Botanic Garden of Wales was opened in May 2000 and is still growing and evolving today. The thing that initially attracted me was the fact that the tropical glasshouse has recently become home to hundreds of exotic butterflies. Once I'd overcome the problem of my camera misting up in the moist heat I spent a happy half hour following these delicate creatures around, trying to catch them on camera as they landed. My success rate was painfully low but I came away with a few moderately good photos. I then took a stroll through the rest of the gardens, ending up at the aptly named ‘Great Glasshouse’. Designed by Lord Foster, it is the largest single span glasshouse in the world, and houses a huge variety of Mediterranean plants. Its form, sunk into the hill, reminded me very much of the American Air Museum at Duxford – a fact that made perfect sense when I realised the two buildings have the same architect!
13 July 2016