Volunteering in Swansea at the Botanical Gardens

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Why Volunteer . . .

  • learn new skills
  • meet new people  
  • make a difference
  • and its rewarding   
  • CONTACT US about becoming a Volunteer.
  • There are two distinct types of Volunteer Opportunities.


  •          1. Polytunnel Plant Shop Volunteer. Wednesday and Saturday mornings.
  •          2. Botanical Gardens Volunteer, Support the work of the trained horticulturists. Monday to Friday, half or full days.
  • See Contact Form below. Thank you. 

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What we do . . .

FCSBC runs a Plant Shop at the Botanical Gardens in Swansea selling trees, shrubs, perennials, vegetables, bulbs and herbs to the public. Each Wednesday throughout the year we meet in the polytunnel just inside the gate of the Botanical Gardens any time from 9 am onwards.   We open the Shop on a Saturday morning from April to September.

The profit from the Shop funds projects in the  parks of Botanical Gardens in Singleton Park and Clyne Gardens in Blackpill. 

 FCSBC has invested around £300,000 in the parks over the past twenty years and Volunteering in Swansea at the Botanical Gardens is very popular and is an important element of the work.

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Shop opening hours . . .

Wednesdays – Mid January until - End of November 10am – 2pm

Saturdays - April until End of September 10am – 2pm


As well as running the shop we have a large custom-built work area where we pot up, pot on and propagate plants ready for sale to an appreciative public.

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How we do it . . .

In a nutshell: teamwork, enthusiasm, humour and a shared interest in and love of plants. We meet every Wednesday and Saturday from 9am onwards until mid-afternoon. No two weeks are the same as the jobs are constantly changing with the seasons.   Everyone’s contribution counts.


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Thinking of Volunteering . . .

We are a friendly non-judgemental group of about 25 people of all ages and from all walks of life.  We welcome volunteers whatever your level and knowledge of plants. All we ask from you is a willingness to learn, commitment and a sense of humour. We are busy people giving what time we can. Incidentally we are always grateful for any help with photography, computer skills and administration of the charity.

Take a look below at some of the thoughts of our volunteers about why they volunteer. 

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What you will need . . .

All you need is a packed lunch, a drink and some gardening gloves. Wear appropriate clothing for the weather; extra layers in winter, layers you can shed in summer.


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Ways to get in touch with us . . .

Come to chat with us at the polytunnel Plant Shop just inside the gate of the Botanical Gardens in Singleton Park any Wednesday from February onwards.  


Or send us an email using the CONTACT FORM below giving your details and we will contact you. 

There are TWO distinct types of Volunteer Opportunities.

        1. Polytunnel Plant Shop Volunteer. [ Waiting List ]

        2. Botanical Gardens Volunteer, Support the work of the trained horticulturists. Monday to Friday, 

Please state your particular interest on the Contact Form. Thank you.


If you decide to become a volunteer you will receive induction training, support and a very warm and friendly welcome.  We look forward to meeting you.


There is also opportunity to learn how to manage this website and run an on-line Newsletter. This Admin opportunity is there as well. if this interests you please note this on the CONTACT FORM. Our Website Manager will get in touch .

Become a Botanical Gardens Volunteer

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Volunteering within the Botanical Gardens working with trained horticulturalists.

FCSBC are looking to increase the number of volunteers who have been working in partnership with Parks staff over the last 18 months within the Botanical Gardens. The volunteering opportunity is based on the principle that Garden staff provide the direction and day to day management, whilst volunteers, contribute their time, flexibility and specialist skills. 

How can I volunteer?

  •  Volunteers will dedicate either one full day or one half day per week to helping at the Botanical Gardens, Singleton Park, Monday to Fridays only.
  • Volunteer within the Botanical Gardens will be supporting the work of the trained horticulturists by helping out with the basic maintenance of the Botanical Gardens plant collections and the general upkeep of the Botanical Gardens. This is a unique opportunity to work with the diverse plant collection within the Botanical Gardens and gain new knowledge and skills.

Activities will be under the direction of Parks Department staff.

If you have an interest and skills in horticulture and would like to become a Botanical Gardens Volunteer  supporting  the work of the trained horticulturists. Monday to Friday, half or full days. Please complete the CONTACT FORM below  for a role description, application form and  further information.

Contact us about becoming a volunteer

Drop us a line at FCSBC. Please fill in the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you.

Friends of the City of Swansea Botanical Complex

Thoughts on Volunteering

Bridget Hill

Bridget Hill

Bridget Hill

New Beginnings

2015 was a year of change for me.  It brought retirement, a new house and garden and was the start of volunteering with FCSBC.  Being a keen gardener I had heard good things about the Plant Shop run by the Friends. I popped along one very wet Saturday morning to see for myself what was on offer for sale and was not disappointed by the choice and quality of plants.  Pam and Bernice were on ‘duty’ that day and after a long and enthusiastic chat with them, I left with a collection of shrubs and a commitment to join as a volunteer.  I have never looked back.  Volunteering with such a great group of people is a joy.  I have made lots of new friends and have learned so much about gardening and many other subjects varying from quilting, sewing, history, literature, travel, cooking and history to name a few.

Each week brings new tasks and the opportunity to work with different people, whether it be in the poly tunnel, the outdoor shop area, the greenhouses or the wildlife garden. Lunch times are never dull, we put down tools and sit together either in the pol tunnel or weather permitting outdoors by the beautiful herbaceous border with our packed lunches.  Why is it that everyone else's always looks more tasty than mine?  

On the subject of food there are some fantastic bakers in the group that would not be out of place on the bake off, they bring in cakes to celebrate birthdays and other occasions and not a soggy bottom in sight.  We are not the quietest bunch of people, there's always non- stop chit chat and laughter, especially during the lunch break.

This year I have joined the herb team, headed by Amiel, who started volunteering the same time as me and this has been particularly enjoyable. I have also started to have an input into plant purchasing with Beth, which is like being let loose in a sweet shop!  I just love plants and each week I cannot resist purchasing a plant or two or three to help establish my new garden. Two years ago my new garden resembled a scruffy car park, with endless areas of gravel and a couple of sickly shrubs with the only wildlife being a few noisy crows and occasional squawking seagull.

Now it is full of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants that have attracted bees, butterflies and other wildlife.  No matter how full it gets I can always squeeze in a new irresistible plant from the shop. 

I've got to carry on volunteering otherwise the profits would dip!  I've been volunteering for two years and I must have been having fun because it has flown by.

Bridget Hill


David Lloyd

Bridget Hill

Bridget Hill

I joined the Friends as a polytunnel volunteer 8 years ago, after calling in to buy plants on a regular basis.  The volunteers realised that I had a great interest in Fuchsias growing over 50 different varieties and ask me if I wished to join the team and pass on my knowledge to our customers.  I love being front of house selling on a Saturday and Wednesday and have a particular interest in all the trees we sell.  If I am not selling, then you will either find me mixing compost or on the lookout for more pots, sand, and gravel.

Three years ago I was elected onto the Committee which involves taking the lead on various aspects of the day to day running of the charity.  I love what I do and have joined a very friendly group of volunteers. Come in and see us sometime.

David Lloyd


Viv Lewis

Bridget Hill

Viv Lewis

My interest in gardening stems from my adopted father who worked at the Botanical Gardens from the late 30’s.   Joining the volunteers in the Botanical Gardens has meant that I have made many new friends over the last few years. I also put my horticultural knowledge to good use when customers have queries,  although you will probably more often than not find me doing the regular maintenance duties within the polytunnels.

It is now 11 years since I became a “polytunnel volunteer” after the death of my husband who was a botanist.  Highlights have included being chosen to represent the volunteers at the “Green Flag Award” ceremony in Manchester a few years ago, as well as being part of the “planting team” in the new Wildflower/Wellbeing Garden. 

Times are changing, budgets are being cut so it is even more important now for volunteers to support their local parks. 

Viv Lewis


Mered Jones

Mered Jones

Mered Jones

My Dad, Mered Jones, joined the Friends as a polytunnel volunteer in the summer of 2015, after a suggestion by his friend Beth Winkley who was volunteering there. In March of that year his wife of 60 years, my mother Meg, had passed away, and going down the gardens every Wednesday helped fill the void in his life left by her death. Mam and Dad had always loved working in their garden together, and every year they would grow a range of vegetables and an incredible display of flowers. When Mam retired from being a nursery nurse the school had given her a garden bench, and this bench has since been donated by Dad to the Friends. It now sits proudly in the polytunnel where weary volunteers take a break and enjoy a chat over lunch.  I know Mam would be happy to see her bench getting such good use.

I know that Dad really enjoys working down there and he goes every Wednesday unless it is really cold. He tackles every task that he is given and particularly enjoys  potting up the new deliveries. In the summer months he can also be found there on many Saturdays. Dad turns 93 this year and I believe he may be the oldest volunteer at the polytunnel – an inspiration to us all to get out there and work in the gardens. 

Greg Jones

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Mered Jones

Mered Jones

Annual Wildflower Seeds

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SEEDS ARE now AVAILABLE from OUR PLANT SHOP

FCSBC have been selling annual wildflower seeds for four seasons.   From our experience, they are not easy to grow in Swansea’s wet clay soil.   To give yourself the best chance, please consider the following:


  • Select your sunniest spot;  no shade at any time;
  • The soil must be clean of every weed;
  • Reduce the fertility by digging out at least the top 6 ins/15 cm;
  • Rake to a fine tilth so that it looks like the top of a good apple crumble;
  • Don’t go anywhere near the selected spot with any form of fertiliser;
  • Sow in May at the maximum rate of 3 grms/sq m.;
  • Water if it doesn’t rain in the first 7 days;  [ha,ha]
  • Enjoy a glorious sight until September/October,  depending on your choice of seeds and the weather;
  • In November, cut back all the old growth, remove it from the site;  
  • Start again next spring.

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Don’t be too disappointed if your wildflowers don’t look like the verges and roundabouts in Swansea.  The Council has machines to do the work that you are going to be doing by hand.  If in doubt, sow in a large container but still follow the advice above.




But go on, give it a go!   It is a very small price to pay for months of colour in your garden.

Annual Wildflower Seeds in Swansea

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FCSBC have been selling Annual Wildflower Seeds in Swansea for four seasons.   


From our experience, they are not easy to grow in Swansea’s wet clay soil.   To give yourself the best chance, please consider the following: here are some tips on how to grow them.


Select your sunniest spot;  no shade at any time;

The soil must be clean of every weed;

Reduce the fertility by digging out at least the top 6 ins/15 cm;

Rake to a fine tilth so that it looks like the top of a good apple crumble;

Don’t go anywhere near the selected spot with any form of fertiliser;

Sow in May at the maximum rate of 3 grms/sq m.;

Water if it doesn’t rain in the first 7 days;  


Enjoy a glorious sight until September/October,  depending on your choice of seeds and the weather;

In November, cut back all the old growth, remove it from the site;  

Start again next spring.



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Don’t be too disappointed if your wildflowers don’t look like the verges and roundabouts in Swansea.  The Council has machines to do the work that you are going to be doing by hand.  If in doubt, sow in a large container but still follow the advice above.



If this is all too much, why not come to the Botanical Gardens and enjoy the large wildflower bed we will be sowing on the slope facing the lake?  In 2017 it bloomed from June to October with a changing colour palette every month.



But go on, give it a go!   It is a very small price to pay for months of colour in your garden.

PMM©

Where to find the botanical gardens & Plant shop

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FCSBC Plant Shop

  • The plant shop  is located in the Polytunnel in the Singleton Park Botanical Gardens
  • We open on SATURDAYS from early April 2020
  • Opens Wednesday January. 8th 2020 10am-2 pm
  • Parking  on Gower  Road  and  nearby
  • Blue  Badge  parking  in  Singleton  Park.  (Limited)

BUY Plants and Shrubs in Swansea Visit our Shop

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2020 Plant Sales Shop opening hours.

 Open Saturdays : from 4th April until 26th September - 10am until 2pm

Open Wednesdays : throughout the year -weather permitting - 10am until 2pm


Bank Holiday Opening 2020

Easter Monday : 13th April 

Early May Holiday : Friday 8th May

Spring Bank Holiday : Monday 25th May

August Bank Holiday : Monday 31st August 


Refreshments are available in the Botanical Gardens from April until September.

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How to find our Plant Shop

Where

  • The Friends Plant Shop is just inside the gate in the north wall of the Swansea Botanical Gardens in Singleton Park. 
  • Here we sell plants and shrubs and garden plants.
  • Come in through the Gower Road entrance. You will see a number of polytunnels over the hedge.  
  • Ours is the first one.



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What to buy . . . and Prices

Come to the FCSBC shop.  We have one of the best ranges of fruit trees, ornamental trees, shrubs and herbaceous perennials in Swansea. We also have a great selection of indoor plants, not only do they improve the air quality in your house but perfect for livening up a room. We grow many herbs and in the summer we stock a variety of chillies, tomatoes and vegetables for you to enjoy home grown produce.  


There is always someone on hand to give you good advice taking into account your aspect, soil and particular tastes. We propagate many of our plants from the Botanical Gardens either from seed collected at the end of summer or from  plants lifted and divided from the borders. The majority of the stock is bought in from reputable suppliers, then grown on all potted up in peat free compost ready for sale. Many of the varieties are selected for their attractiveness to pollinators as we recognise the importance of supporting our beneficial insect population, please ask about our bee friendly plants



  • Our prices are very competitive.
  • If you are starting a new garden, you will find our prices particularly attractive.  

 

  • Our plants are small but they will grow on quickly once they are out of their pots.
  • For the some of the best plants in Swansea come and visit us. 

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Why we do it . . .

  • All the profit from the Plant Shop is invested back into the Parks of Singleton Park Botanical Gardens and Clyne Gardens.   
  •  Over the past twenty years we have spent around £300,000 on improving the facilities in these parks.



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The Botanical Gardens in Swansea have a renowned 40 metres double herbaceous border.  Many mature trees of national importance.  Glasshouses with orchids, temperate and tropical plants.  


Wildflower meadow in season.  Colour and interest all year.  


If you are looking for plant sales in Swansea . . . . . . .


Then visit "The Friends Plant Shop", 


  • Our Plant Shop in Singleton Park Botanical Gardens opens Wednesday January 8th  2020 and Saturday in early April 2020 10am - 2 pm


You will find a wide choice of wonderful plants and shrubson sale. 


Guided walks available.


Tŷr Blodau , is a purpose built  meeting room with a kitchen and is available for hire.  


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The plant shop is located in the Friends Polytunnel in the Singleton Park Botanical Gardens. 


Our Plant Shop in Singleton Park Botanical Gardens opens Wednesday January 8th  2020 and Saturday in early April 2020 10am - 2 pm
You will find a wide choice of wonderful plants and shrubs on sale. 



Opening Times of Botanical gardens

Come along and visit - Open throughout the year and it is free.

Come along and visit - Open throughout the year and it is free.

GERDDI BOTANEG

BOTANICAL GARDENS

AMSERAU AGOR A CHAU

OPENING & CLOSING TIMES

Ionawr - Chwefror 10.00am - 3.30pm

January - February 10.00am - 3.30pm

Mawrth - Ebrill 10.00am - 4.30pm

March - April 10.00am - 4.30pm

Mai - Medi 10.00am - 6.00pm

May - September 10.00am - 6.00pm

Hydref 10.00am - 4.30pm

October 10.00am - 4.30pm

Tachwedd - Rhagfyr 10.00am - 3.30pm

November - December 10.00am - 3.30pm

Come along and visit - Open throughout the year and it is free.

Come along and visit - Open throughout the year and it is free.

Come along and visit - Open throughout the year and it is free.

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  • Whatever the season there is always something of interest to see at the Botanical Gardens.



To Hire Tŷr Blodau meeting room

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Find out more : send the Contact Form Below

For further details of costs and facilities please complete the contact form below and send in. You will receive a reply as soon as possible.

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Tŷr Blodau

The purpose built meeting room at the Botanical Gardens

Contact form : Tŷr Blodau

Drop us a line about hiring the meeting room