This garden aims to raise understanding and interest in plant breeding and genetics. The curving pathways in the Wallace Garden reflect the shape of the DNA double helix, and break the oval enclosure into a series of attractive themed beds. Planting blends the curious, the ornamental and the instructive. Here you’ll find examples of natural plant mutations, and every year there are fresh displays of food crops and garden plants that have been selectively bred by humans, like sweet peas and dahlias.

Along the south wall, plants refelct a geological timeline, from the first emergence of mosses and liverworts through horsetails to the tree ferns and conifers that dominate just before the evolution of flowering plants.

In the future we are hoping to use secure funding for this garden in order to demonstrate some of the scientific research the Garden is carrying out, particularly into the DNA of native Welsh plants.

This garden is named in honour of the Usk-born naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913), whose own work on the theory of evolution by means of natural selection prompted Charles Darwin to publish his ‘On the Origin of Species by Natural Selection’. In 2008, we celebrated Wallace’s life with a specially commissioned play written by Gaynor Styles of Theatre Nanog and performed by  Ioan Hefin (seen left) inside the Wallace Garden for both school groups and general visitors.