NBGW – First Post

It’s been three winks since I left Hertfordshire and started my new job at the National Botanic Garden of Wales. Where has the time gone?!

Avenue of Betula pendula

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A rose in the Double Walled Garden

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Waterlily (Nymphaea)

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The Rill

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I mentioned in my previous post that the weather has been glorious since I arrived. Sunshine every day, with no hint of rain – no wet Welsh weather like I had been warned about before moving here!

I’m settling in well to my new life. It was sad to say goodbye to my old one but in a bitter-sweet way. I’m working in an amazing garden and living in a beautiful part of the country – it’s been a manic few weeks but all the packing and unpacking has been worth it.

The Tropical House

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Inside

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Trimezia martinicensis

Trimezia martinicensis

Paphiopedilum orchid

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I’m at NBGW with one other PGG trainee, who is in her third and final year on the traineeship scheme – she’s called Becky as well, not confusing at all!! We work with the inside and outside teams on a rota, for three months at a time.

I’m with the outside team until December, Becky is with the inside gang. The first week we spent working together, a few days with both teams, and now we’ve settled into our rotas. This past fortnight I’ve slipped into a routine, I didn’t think I’d settle in and feel at home as quickly as I have done. It can only be a good sign!

Inside one of the nursery glasshouses

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Clean pots!

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I’ve been working in one quadrant of the Double Walled Garden, blitzing the herbaceous beds. Staffing levels are very tight at NBGW, with ten full time horticulturists for one hundred and eighty acres. It makes students like me more valued as members of the team, I’ve been trusted to get on with the job I’ve been given without supervision. I’d better not screw up!

Beds before blitzing. . .

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. . .and after!

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A busy trainee!

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A friendly pheasant

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My accommodation in Wales is fantastic, it really does feel just like home. It’s an old farmhouse/lodge which dates back to the 1880s. My dad managed to find an old photo of it when it was in its prime, cool or what!

My lodge, Allt Goch, in the 1880s

Allt Goch Hey Day

It’s about a mile away from NBGW, I can walk to work in twenty minutes. The route is through three fields, which are inhabited by cows and sheep of course! It’s all downhill going to work, the journey back is a bit of a killer – I never realised how steep the hills were in Wales!

Views on the walk to work

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The Great Glasshouse in the distance

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Sheep!

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That said I still think I have the best commute to work imaginable – when the mist lingers in the valley first thing in the morning I realise how lucky to have a job I absolutely love.

A misty morning

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Evening sun

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My parents came up a week ago for a weekend visit, it was lovely showing them round NBGW for the first time. They loved the Double Walled Garden, my mum couldn’t get over how colourful everything was.

Double Walled Garden

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Eucomis

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Hesperantha coccinea

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The Great Glasshouse was a winner too, I remember how much it took my breath away when I first saw it.

The Great Glasshouse

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Inside

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Close-ups

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Selfie!

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The Wallace Garden was looking gorgeous too, with beds of dahlias and wild flowers. I know I’m going to enjoy working in every area of NBGW while I’m here, there’s nowhere I don’t like!

Wallace Garden

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Echinaceas

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Dahlias

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That’s all for now, I hope you enjoyed my first post about NBGW. It will be the first of many more to come! 🙂

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27 thoughts on “NBGW – First Post

  1. I am really pleased you have settled in so well and quickly. Lucky you, getting the indoor stint after Christmas when the weather will be worse! The flower photos are beautiful and the views on your commute are breath-taking, especially the misty morning ones.

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  2. Becky, this is a wonderful post all about your new journey. What a beautiful place to work and your walk to work looks gorgeous. I am totally certain you wont ‘screw up”. And in my opinion youre settling in so so quickly says something about you and your personality, rather than the place itself, although Im sure such a lovely place helps. Im so looking forward to following you on this next phase of your career.

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  3. Becka, LOVE, love, love it. If those roses in the beginning of the post are not as fragrant as I imagine, please do not tell me! I think my breathing became very shallow when I saw that cottage. I know it is waiting to have stories written about it and those I imagine living there! If only I could visit it and let her tell me her tales.
    Your parents must be so proud of you and the NBGW will be glad that you joined their team. xx

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    • Thank you Lea! Those roses wouldn’t disappoint you, they are as fragrant as they look – if not more so! 😉 Allt Goch has an amazing vibe, unlike any other place I’ve lived – I hope to find out her stories while I’m here 🙂 thanks again! xx

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  4. What a nice pause in my day, to see your beautiful photos and hear your exuberant tale! I wish you every success and happiness with this new phase, Becky, and am really looking forward to learning more about Wales through your eyes…..

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