Roath Park Conservatory — Cardiff, South Wales

The South coast of Wales has long been on our list of areas to visit, not least because neither of us had been there before but because we'd compiled quite a list of greenhouses and gardens that we wanted to explore for ourselves. 

The first stop on our Welsh weekend adventure was Roath Park Conservatory; a fair-sized polycarbonate structure that was built in the 1970s, south of the boating lake and just north of Cardiff city centre.

We noticed that the light inside was diffused by the plastic that surrounded us and that it seemed to make everything quieter. Rising up the concrete steps gave us a view over the central pond and we were treated to short pause on the bench. Monstera was finding it's way through the wooden slats of our seat and seemed to engulf all of the room behind us too - along with what-looks-like-Ficus and pots of hanging Chlorophytum (that's Spider plant to you and me). There were great archways of Philodendron and Palms that hung huge leaves ahead of us, hiding long corridors of wilderness where the plants crawled towards the light that came through the walls. 

Visiting Roath Park Conservatory was a lesson in light and dark for us, we described it as an other-worldly kind of place where nature is king and we were just passing through. Not a bad experience for a £2 charge.