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National Public Garden Blossoms in Wales

May 21, 2000

Wales on Wednesday will open what it says is the first national public garden to debut in Britain for more than 200 years.

The centerpiece of the National Botanic Garden of Wales, located on a 568-acre estate, is the 311-foot-long Great Glasshouse, among the largest single-span greenhouses in the world.

Looking a bit like a flying saucer, it is built from nearly 800 glass sections and houses flora from five Mediterranean climates--including that of California. An 18-foot-deep ravine with cliff faces and waterfalls completes its scenery.

The garden, under construction for three years, also has four lakes with walks, an exhibition on herbal medicines, a visitor center and two restaurants. Planned for later completion are three more lakes, more gardens and an organic farm.

The garden is in Carmarthenshire in southern Wales. Admission is about $11 adults, $5 children (free under age 5) and $16 for families (two adults and up to four children).

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