If you follow the land that slopes down from the Great Glasshouse towards the lakes, you’ll find an area that brims with informal beauty in summer. Top soil has been removed from here to recreate the spartan landscape of the North American prairie and Asian steppes, where flowers rather than grasses thrive in soils with low nutrient levels.
Prairie and steppe plants such as peonies, rudbeckias and asters have been introduced here, whilst native Welsh plants like orchids and ox-eye daisies have found their way naturally. This produces fresh waves of colour here from spring to autumn. This type of informal planting or ‘natural look’ has become fashionable in Europe and North America but has never been attempted on such a scale in a wet climate like Wales’s. Mown paths allow you to wander through this area. You may notice how local birds and insects have really taken to this rich source of food and you should find a variety of butterflies on warm sunny days.
Curator’s Blog Late June 2013