Singleton Botanical Gardens — Swansea, South Wales

Greenhouse number four on our (epic) Welsh weekend tour is up next - can you believe that we found FOUR places so close together?! South Wales folk are a lucky bunch. 

Singleton Botanical Gardens occupies a sizeable plot on the North side of Singleton Park, just outside Swansea city centre. The sun shone on us when we visited and we started with the Mediterranean glasshouse, leading through to cacti and then onto the Tropical house. 

With the sun shining we really did feel like we were a thousand miles from South Wales - dappled light through the many leaves in the first few houses and then big fat juicy cacti shadows in the next. 

Display cases for this collection made us happy - there's nothing more like putting plants on a pedestal than keeping them as though they're important museum pieces. Although you can stick pretty much anything in a glass vitrine and I'm a happy bunny. 

Through the Tropical rooms we walked slowly, spotting Calathea, Tillandsia (airplants, including that weird trailing moss stuff) and Nepenthes (pitcher plants) as we went. This carpet of leaves caught my attention - it looks like a greener version of Rodgersia, a plant that I love seeing in our local botanical gardens, however this is a Begonia*. A genus that constantly has crept up on us (more me than Magnus) and we find it's variety of colours and textures amazing. 

What a day! We hit the jackpot no less than four times and there was still the sea to find... You might think that we whizzed through the greenhouses to fit them all in but in all honesty it didn't feel as though we were rushed at all. We'd allocated 2 full days to them but found we could easily fit them in one, leaving our next day free for more! 

If you missed the first three you can see them here:

- Roath Park Conservatory

- Dyffryn Gardens

- Plantasia

There is no charge to visit Singleton Botanical Gardens.  

*B. cardiocopa if you're interested.