Croeso i Gymru

The title is Welsh – not, as some of you may have wondered, a case of too many biscuit crumbs in the keyboard, and it reads ‘Welcome to Wales’.

A handful of the Science Department drove past this welcome message on the M4 as we headed to Cardiff (in the pouring rain) to help out on the first of seven RHS Flower Shows.

 

RHS Cardiff Flower Show was the second flower show supported by the RHS that I have attended since starting my KTP (I helped out at Chelsea last year), and it was- like Chelsea, thoroughly enjoyable. The stand the Science teams help out on, RHS Life (above), is a beautiful multi-pod structure that you can wander through at your leisure to learn more about what the RHS does (including our scientific research) and how to get involved. A handful of scientists and advisors are on hand at all of our shows and are a source of free advice and stimulating conversation for all those that share an interest in gardening.

Some parts of the stand involve displays that are suitable for all ages and levels of interest.  This year, the theme is urban greening and displays highlight the benefits associated with clothing our houses with foliage such as encouraging wildlife and reducing summertime temperatures and winter heating bills.

There are touchy-feely boxes of sedums that buzz or chirp when touched, and pots of lavender, strawberry and fennel that highlight the types of flowers that are especially good at attracting a wide range of pollinating insects.

Three days (despite the pouring rain) sped by as Cardiff is a really great city: lots of friendly people, good shopping and an endless supply of scrummy, sultana-studded Welsh cakes.

 

I’d like to say that I picked up a few Welsh words on my three-day stay, but it would be a blatant lie. Instead, the internet has provided me with some useful phrases for my next (shopping) trip:

“Oes toiledau yma? Rwy’n llysieuydd. Diolch yn fawr iawn. Mae’n bwrw glaw”.

Translation:

“Are there any toilets here?I’m a vegetarian. Thank you very much. It’s raining”.

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