Near Carmarthen, at Llanarthne, the National Botanical Garden of Wales was developed on the site of an estate once owned by the Middleton family.
The Middleton Estate is in the Tywi valley and was first created in 1600s by seafaring adventurers and founders of the East India Company. In 1740 Sir William Paxton bought the estate and built a new hall and developed landscaped grounds.Paxton’s Tower was erected in 1800 in honour of Admiral Lord Nelson. Edward Adams took on the estate in 1824, but it fell into disrepair and was burnt down in 1931, after which Carmarthen County Council aquired the estate and divided it into 7 starter farms for lease. Funds were raised in the 1990s to create the national Botanical Garden for Wales, which opened in 2000.
The unusual double walled garden dates back to the late 18th century and has one brick and one stone wall to create a micro-climate within and to protect it from grazing animals.The restoration began in 1993 and it re-opened in 2003.
Mondays see the opportunity for doglovers to take their dogs for a walk around the gardens and extensive parklands of the Botanical Gardens – they must remain on non-extendable leads (you can borrow one of these from the visitor centre on admission), keep to the paths, not be left unattneded and, of course, bag and bin their pooh.
The National Botanical gardens host many varied events – coming up soon are:-
17th November: Star party
18th November: “Their LIght Still Shines” – remember those we have lost…
24/25th November: ‘Votes for Women’ conference
Garden history tours are available all year round.
An exciting development for 2018 is the start of the Paradise Regained project – reclaiming a regency Rarity – this will restore the historical parkland and will be completed in 2020. Work includesthe following phases:-
-clearance of trees and scrub from the dry lake beds
-temporary roads for earthmoving
-removal of silt
-excavation of clay to repair dams
-reinstatement of historic paths
-planting oF trees
The plans for this huge undertaking have been designed and inspired by the 200 year old paintings of how the estate once looked.