Monday, 10 March 2014

Botanical Gardens of Wales

Last week I went on a field trip to the Botanical Gardens of Wales. This was for  my Diversity of Life 1 module.  Early Tuesday morning we set off to go there. Our next assignment is on Fynbos plants which before this trip I knew little about. this is what the trips main focus was on.

The first thing we did was get our complementary tea and welsh cake and were given a presentation about DNA barcoding and how they were progressing.  after which we then went to the Great Glasshouse. this is a mediteranean house and is where we spent most of our day. We were given a talk and shown around  (mainly the South African part) and were shown all the ways that these plants are adapted to their habitats.
 Many of them have lots of thin hairs on their thick leaves to potect itself from the sun and heat.

The king protea has big leaves. these leaves get bigger and waxier as they get older. as well as having big and hard leaves to protect it from the heat, it also moves throughout the day so that the leave edges are always facing the sun rather that the larger surface of the leaf. (Picture of King Protea; Protea cynaroides, on the right).

After we were finished with the talk  we had a tour around the rest of the gardens. There was an installation called the 'ghost forest' which are parts of big tropical trees. The gardens are their final resting place, after travelling to various places.  they will eventually rot and decompose here and will be interested to see what will grow there afterwards.  They have a small Japanese garden, bee hives and vegetable patches to name a few of the things we saw, as well as lots of outdoor flower beds organised in families.  the final thing we saw on out tour was the tropical house. I like this because of how diverse the plants are in it and how much brighter the plants are.

this bought us to lunch time so we had a break and then were free to look around anything we may have not been to or may want to go back to. I went to the 'amazing fungi' area and then back around the rest of the great glasshouse as it was big and it gave us a chance to look around and get some more information about the fynbos plants.

You can see more of the photos from my day on my Flickr : Botanical Gardens photos

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