And here’re a few fantastic and bizarre facts about the Garden.

  1. We have the biggest single span glasshouse in the world.
  2. Each of its 785 panes of glass is a different size, and it has 147 computer controlled air vents to regulate the temperature, ensuring it never falls below 9 degrees centigrade.
  3. We have one of the longest continual flower beds in Europe.
  4. We have plants that smell of toffee, chocolate and curry.
  5. We have a puya plant that is so spikey it kills grazing animals. Nutrients from their rotting bodies are then soaked up by the plant.
  6. We have a few plants that smell of rotting flesh to attract pollinating flies. One of these, an arum, stinks out the Tropical House so much in the summer that people have to leave.
  7. There’s a wild mushroom that grows on our nature reserve called a cordiceps. This grows out of the body of a caterpillar.
  8. Principality House, the big yellow building next to the Glasshouse, was the small servants house. Can you imagine how big the old mansion was  before it burnt down in 1931?
  9. South African bushmen use the leaves of the quiver tree (found in the Great Glasshouse) to hold their hunting arrows.  
  10. Before the invention of fridges, wealthy people used to keep their food fresh and make fruit sorbets with ice stored throughout the year in the Ice House.
  11. The Double Walled Garden, which was built 200 years ago, was used to grow exotic hot weather loving fruit like peaches and pineapples. These fruits were very rare 200 haers ago and could only be afforded by wealthy people.
  12. Over 1000 different species have been recorded living wild here. Some of the rarest creatures we have are otters in the lakes, dormice in woods and barn owls in the meadows.
  13. We have a greenhouse made entirely from plastic bottles.
  14. Wales’ rarest tree, the Ley’s Whitebeam, grows here.
  15. One of the world’s rarest plants, McCutcheon’s Grevillea, now grows in our Great Glasshouse
  16.  In a good year, we can have over 1million bees in our bee garden.
  17. Our Aqualab is heated by the water from the lake next to it, even when the water is nearly frozen.  Underwater cables transfer the heat.
  18. You can see fossils of giant 300 million year old trees in our Rock of Ages display.
  19. We show films here with surround vision – the film shows on screens all around you.
  20. We recycle our toilet water by passing it through tall reeds.
  21. Our land train is powered by old chip fat oil.
  22. The round shape of our Gatehouse has been inspired by the ancient Iron Age Welsh roundhouses.
  23. There’s a big colony of bats under the Stable Block  roof.
  24. Be careful not to eat any berries here. Some of our plants produce deadly poisonous berries that have been used by poisoners for thousands of years.
  25. We have rare breed cattle and sheep on our nature reserve. One of these, Llanwenog sheep, have a mop of wool on top of their head that looks like a 1950s teddy boy haircut.