The National Botanic Garden is situated near Carmarthenshire, Wales, and is Britains first national botanical garden in 200 years. It serves as both a popular, sensory banquet of a public attraction, and a centre for botanical research and conservation. It boasts the worlds largest single-span greenhouse, stretching 360ft long and 200ft wide, which houses beautiful and exotic plants from Chile, Western Australia, South Africa, California, the Canary Islands and the Mediterranean itself.
It all began in 1789, when Sir William Paxton bought the area of land, along with a mansion that had been built on it in the 17th century, with the idea of creating a water park. Paxton realized his dream to its full extent - creating a wonderful, interlinking system of ponds, streams and lakes around his magnificent mansion.
Tradgedy struck in 1931, when the mansion was entirely destroyed by fire, leaving nothing but a few walls standing. The estate and grounds quickly fell into a state of disrepair, and 20 years later, what was left of the mansion was pulled down, and the area was bought by Carmarthen County Council. But all was not lost - a few decades later, while listening to his aunt describe the ruins of old water features she had found in the woods, William Wilkins, a Welsh artist, was struck by the idea of creating a National Botanical Garden. And so on March 1st 1996, after months of hard work and planning, the application for the National Botanical Gardens of Wales was officially announced, and work was underway.
The Garden was opened to the public for the first time on 24 May 2000, and its popularity and support have guaranteed it a secure future.
The site stretches over 568 acres and is home to hundreds of different species of flowers, insects and other animals. In the interests of conservation, the National Botanical Gardens are as eco-friendly as possible, using biomass recycling to provide heating for the glasshouses and the visitors center.