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Carmarthenshire

Welsh Orchid Festival comes to Aberglasney Gardens

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Visitors to Carmarthenshire’s heritage garden, Aberglasney can learn all about orchids this coming weekend (Saturday 3 & Sunday 4 September) as the garden hosts the Welsh Orchid Festival.

As well as learning about orchids, visitors will also be able to purchase orchids, carnivorous plants, orchid companion plants and botanical paintings.

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Jim Stribling, Aberglasney’s Director of Operations, said, “We are delighted to be once again welcoming the Orchid Study Group to Aberglasney and hosting the Welsh Orchid Festival. Aberglasney introduced a collection of orchids in 2020. The orchid collection we have in the Ninfarium comprises many different species and is a haven for orchid lovers. We hope visitors to the Gardens will enjoy this unique orchid experience.”

The Orchid Study Group was established at the National Botanic Garden of Wales in 2005 to provide a focus for orchids and their study in Wales.

This region of Wales has a long and rich orchid history. Penllergare was home to the pioneer photographer and orchid grower John Dillwyn Llewelyn; son of the famous botanist and owner of the Swansea Pottery, Lewis Weston Dillwyn.

It was here that John built a green house, and it was here also that tropical orchids were grown for the first time ever under semi-natural conditions. Newly discovered orchids flowered here for the first time and it is probable that John was the first to record them by means of photography.

Even today, the name of this influential family is commemorated in the names of orchids such as Eria dillwynii.

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Lynne Harrendence, Secretary of the Orchid Study Group and co-organiser of the Welsh Orchid Festival said, “We are looking forward to holding, once again, our annual Festival at Aberglasney. It is the perfect backdrop for our event. We hope that all those who enjoy growing orchids will come along and visit us at the Festival.”

Over the seasons, Aberglasney’s visitors are able to enjoy the delights of a huge range of orchids from conventional home favourites to the very best examples from the Gardens’ rare and unusual orchid collection. The display in the Ninfarium is predominantly made up of Cymbidium orchids which are stunningly beautiful, cool growing, winter flowering and can be grown outside in the summer. Later in the season, Oncidium, Encyclia, Miltonipsis and Pleione form the mainstay of the display and are accompanied by many other, no less rare, spectacular and unusual species. They work brilliantly amongst the ruined interior walls of the mansion.

Entrance to the Welsh Orchid Festival is free of charge, however, normal admission fees to the Gardens do apply. The Festival will be open from 10am until 5pm on Saturday and 10am until 4pm on the Sunday.

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