IT'S THE WEEKEND: Autumn at Wales' botanic gardens
12:24pm Saturday 12th October 2013 in News
GWENT'S gardening enthusiasts have plenty to keep them busy this autumn at Wales’ national botanic garden (NGBW).
To celebrate the second Wales Fungus Day, part of UK Fungus day, the garden will be hosting a day of talks, cooking, entertainment, model-making and fungus recording. This is an ideal event for new and old foragers, keen to learn more about identifying and cooking with wild mushrooms. But better still, anyone dressed as a fairy gets in free. Wings and wand anyone?
If fungus is all together to risky for you, the apple weekend promises plenty of ways to enjoy one of Britain’s favourite fruits. Whether you like them fresh, alcoholic or served with pork, from October 19-20 a harvest-style festival will be offering hundreds of varieties of the fruit and plenty of stalls for you to try and buy. For apple growers, experts will be on hand to give tips and gardeners are even invited to bring along their apple to have its variety identified.
Work at the gardens is already underway to cultivate welsh heritage apple trees, of which there were once more than 100 recorded only in Wales. The heritage orchard in the outer walled garden aims to build up a body of data of traditional welsh varieties that could help future breeding programmes, before the genes from these varieties are lost completely.
If you’re stuck for ideas for the half-term holiday, there are plenty of family activities at the garden all week. Adults and children alike can learn about hedgehog hibernation, fungi, leaf colours and more. In the week later, there is another family day which will be free to all under 16s.
For outdoor gardeners struggling with the first onset of the winter cold, look to your gardens for a greener cure. One of the many courses on offer at the NGBW this month is Herbs for Winter Ills. With the hedgerows overflowing with berries this course will explore the fantastic health giving properties of the autumn bounty.
You can learn how to use wild and culinary herbs and spices to help you stay healthy through the cold winter months. Remedies include rosehip and elderberry elixir to help fight flu, thyme and liquorice chest syrup and ginger muscle and joint rub to ease winter aches and pains and much more.
Other courses on offer include woodturning, flower arranging, felting and jewellery.
Aside from talks and events, autumn is a beautiful time of year to simply walk around and enjoy the fabulous colours around NBGW. From early to late autumn the wild garden is brimming with seasonal hues, from asters and rudbeckias, to echinaceas and heleniums. A range of winter vegetables as well as pumpkins and bananas can be found in the double walled, garden while pomegranates and olives keep warm in the great glasshouse.
So whether you’re getting your hands dirty or just enjoying the changing seasons, the botanic garden has it wrapped up this autumn.
What's on this autumn:
* Sunday October 13: Wales Fungus Day
* Friday October 18 members/vols coffee morning/talk: The history of the Apple Tree
* October 19-20: Apple Weekend
* Sunday October 20: Hertford Voices
* Sunday October 27: Towy Valley Vintage Club Annual ‘Crankdown’
* Monday – Friday October 28 – Nov 1: Family Activities
* Wednesday October 30: Wacky Wednesday
* Friday November 8: Swansea Astronomical Society Star Party 6pm-9pm
* Saturday – Sunday November 9-10: Gift Fair in the Great Glasshouse
The National Botanic Garden of Wales aims to be a centre for integrated plant conservation at a local, national and international level. We have two family tickets (2 adults and 4 children) up for grabs, so to win, just tell us what the National Botanic Garden of Wales aims to be a centre for. Send your answer, name and address on a postcard to National Botanic Competition, Editor’s PA, South Wales Argus, Cardiff Road, Newport, NP20 3QN or you can enter by text. Start your message with BOTANIC, leave a space and then send your answer, name, address and telephone contact details to 80360. Messages cost 50p plus your normal operator text charge. Service provided by Newsquest Media Group. Terms and Conditions at www.southwalesargus.co.uk/competitions. Closing date: 3rd November.
For more information go to http://www.gardenofwales.org.uk/
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