Volunteer Blog July 2013

A Little Learning

So at last the summer has arrived and, as usual, we spent Tuesday at the National Botanic Garden of Wales.  Only this week wasn’t quite as usual because, apart from it being hot, hot, hot, we were there before 9.30am.  That’s unusual for us but I was going on a training course.  I thought I had given up doing such things when I retired so it did seem strange to receive Joining Instructions especially since, in my former life, I would have been the one sending them out.

I have to say that I learned a lot on the course.  I met some people I hadn’t met before and got to know some that I had met a little better.   The main thing I learned was how much I didn’t know!  The Botanic Garden is so much more than just a beautiful garden.  The history of the various parts of the Garden is really interesting and some of the facts that I learnt give a different view of somewhere I thought I knew well.

After the training had finished I took some leaflets and went down past Tarw, the Bull, to Waun Las National Nature Reserve where I was going to replenish the leaflet box.  There were some sheep by the gate so after I had had a word with them (I’m fluent in sheep as well as bird and horse) I filled the box and retraced my steps back towards the lakes.  There’s a lovely Cornus on the corner at the bottom of the Wild Garden and I stopped to take a photo of the large flowers.  It was still very hot and I opted to walk where there was some shade which basically was beside the lake.  The yellow water lilies on the lake are lovely as are the mimulus which bloom on the margins and the white astilbes, alongside the path; almost glow under the shady trees.  I was on my way to the Sculpture Garden and as I came out of the shade I was struck again by just how hot it was.  I wondered whether to go and have a look to see if the broad leaved helleborine was out but decided that I was too tired so when I had put the Sculpture leaflets in their box I went into the Double Walled Garden intending to photograph a beautiful yellow rose that I had seen earlier in the day.  There was a group of visitors gathered around the rose and they were taking their own photos of it so I thought I would leave them to it.  My turn will come.

On my way back to the office I went through The Courtyard and walked once again into the stunning wall of fragrance coming from the wonderful array of sweet peas that some inspired person had put there.  Judging by comments I had heard around me throughout the day, I was not the only one who appreciated them.

Pam Murden

11/07/13

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