Amgueddfa Blog:

Celebrating St. Fagans Heritage Welsh Apples

Luciana Skidmore, 8 Medi 2023

This year we celebrate our heritage Welsh apples by exhibiting samples of fruits that are sustainably grown in our orchards located in Kennixton farm, Llwyn-yr-eos farm, Llainfadyn and the Castle Orchard. You will find our Apple Exhibition at the Kennixton barn, next to the Kennixton farmhouse in St. Fagans.

Every year our apples are harvested to produce apple juice. The crop of 2022 was our most fruitful to date generating 400 bottles that were pressed by the Morris family in Crickhowell. You will find the St. Fagans apple juice available for sale at the St. Fagans Museum shop and Gwalia store.

For centuries apples have been grown in most parts of Wales, holding a cultural pride of place as a fruit of choice. They have been grown in cottage gardens, small orchards, smallholdings and farms.  The skills of pruning, grafting and tending the trees were passed from generation to generation.

After the second World War fruit growing suffered a decline.  Even the formerly widespread production of cider in the south-eastern area came to an end. Nowadays apples are imported from distant regions of the world and are available in supermarkets throughout the whole year. 

It is our mission to preserve our heritage Welsh apple trees for future generations. In the orchards of St. Fagans, you will find Welsh apple varieties such as ‘Monmouthshire Beauty’, ‘Gabalfa’, ‘Channel Beauty’, ‘St. Cecilia’, ‘Baker’s Delicious’, ‘Croen Mochyn’, ‘Trwyn Mochyn’, ‘Bardsey Island’, ‘Morgan Sweet’, ‘Gwell na Mil’, ‘Diamond’, ‘Machen’, ‘Llwyd Hanner Goch’, ‘Pen Caled’ and ‘Pig y Glomen’.

If you are coming to the St. Fagans Food Festival this year, please visit our Apple Exhibition at the Kennixton Barn.

Adnodd Saesneg i ddysgwyr newydd i Amgueddfa Cymru

Loveday Williams, Uwch Swyddog Addysg, Cyfranogiad a Dehongli, 10 Mai 2023

Mae Amgueddfa Cymru wedi bod yn gweithio gyda Ffoaduriaid a Cheiswyr Lloches, gan gefnogi pobl i integreiddio i’w cymunedau newydd, ers blynyddoedd lawer. 

Fel rhan o’r gwaith hwn, rydyn ni wedi datblygu partneriaethau gyda chyrff allweddol fel Addysg Oedolion Cymru. Maen nhw wedi bod yn gweithio gyda ni dros y flwyddyn ddiwethaf, ochr yn ochr â’u myfyrwyr ESOL (Saesneg ar gyfer siaradwyr ieithoedd eraill), i ddatblygu adnoddau newydd i ddysgwyr ESOL er mwyn cefnogi dysgwyr Saesneg i archwilio ein hamgueddfeydd a’n horielau. 

Mae’r adnoddau newydd yn cwmpasu Amgueddfa Genedlaethol y Glannau yn Abertawe, Amgueddfa Lechi Cymru yn Llanberis ac Amgueddfa Lleng Rufeinig Cymru yng Nghaerllion. 

Mae’r adnoddau wedi’u creu gan diwtoriaid Saesneg i ddysgwyr ac wedi eu profi gan ddysgwyr ESOL. Maen nhw’n dilyn cwricwlwm ESOL ac yn addas ar gyfer gwahanol lefelau, o Lefel Mynediad i Lefel 2. 

Erbyn hyn mae’r adnoddau newydd wedi’u profi, eu mireinio a’u treialu, ac maen nhw’n barod i’w lawrlwytho o’n gwefan i unrhyw ddysgwr neu grŵp ESOL sy’n ymweld ag un o’r amgueddfeydd (gweler y dolenni uchod). 

Mae gennym set o adnoddau ESOL hefyd ar gyfer Sain Ffagan Amgueddfa Werin Cymru a gafodd eu datblygu mewn ffordd debyg fel rhan o Broject Creu Hanes a ariannwyd gan Gronfa Dreftadaeth y Loteri yn 2014. 

Rydyn ni’n parhau i weithio gyda’n partneriaid ac aelodau o’r gymuned i ddarparu cyfleoedd ystyrlon i bobl sy’n wynebu rhwystrau i gymryd rhan yn y celfyddydau a threftadaeth ddiwylliannol.

Rydyn ni’n dysgu cymaint gan y bobl sy’n ymweld â’n safleoedd ac sy’n derbyn y cyfleoedd dysgu rydyn ni’n eu cynnig. 

Mae helpu pobl sydd newydd gyrraedd Cymru i ymgartrefu ac integreiddio i’w cymunedau newydd yn faes pwysig iawn o’n gwaith a gobeithio y bydd yr adnoddau newydd hyn i ddysgwyr yn gymorth i lawer o bobl ar y daith honno. 

Diolch yn fawr i Addysg Oedolion Cymru a’r tiwtoriaid a dysgwyr Saesneg sydd wedi cyfrannu at greu’r adnoddau newydd hyn i ddysgwyr. 

Celebrating St. Fagans Victorian tree heritage

Luciana Skidmore, 28 Hydref 2022

Autumn sends us an invitation to pause and admire the beautiful trees that surround us. It lays a vibrant carpet of colourful leaves welcoming us into the woods. In this once in a year spectacle, we advise that you wear comfortable shoes, take slower steps and mindfully redirect your gaze up to the sky to contemplate our magnificent trees. 

In St. Fagans National Museum of History, you can find some of the most beautiful specimens of trees planted by the Victorians and Edwardians that shaped our beautiful gardens. 

This year we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Fern-leaved Beech (Fagus sylvatica ‘Aspleniifolia’) located in the terraced gardens of the castle. This magnificent and unusual specimen was planted in 1872 under the head gardener William Lewis. This cultivar was introduced in the UK in the early 1800’s and won the RHS Award of Garden Merit in 2002. The leaves are dark green and deeply serrated, turning golden before falling in autumn. This specimen has an impressive dark and smooth trunk with its girth measuring 3.67m in diameter. The Fern-leaved Beech is a Chimera, originated from a plant cell mutation of the Common Beech (Fagus sylvatica). An interesting fact is that occasionally some of the serrated leaves revert to the Beech leaf shape, when that happens it is advisable to remove the reverted branches as they tend to grow more vigorously than the cultivar.

Another magnificent feature that celebrates 150 years in St. Fagans is the row of London and Oriental Planes planted by William Lewis along the formal ponds overlooking the terraced gardens.  The London plane is a natural hybrid of the Oriental Plane and the American Plane. The Oriental (Platanus orientalis) and London Plane (Platanus x acerifolia) are distinguishable by their leaf shape with the Oriental Plane having more deeply lobed leaves. Many London planes were planted over 200 years ago in the squares of London, hence its common name. This tree can withstand high levels of pollution and was one of the few trees that could thrive in the soot-laden atmosphere of cities before the passing of the Clean Air Act in 1956. Did you know that this resilient tree can store around 7.423 kg of Carbon at maturity? Large trees like this play an important role in improving air quality by sequestering carbon dioxide, removing air pollutants and absorbing gases that are harmful to human health.

William Lewis was also responsible for the planting of the Pine Walk in 1870. This beautiful avenue of Black Pine (Pinus nigra) and Scots Pine (Pinus sylvestris) guides you through the path towards the old Orchard. These tall and majestic trees enclose the space resembling the walls of a Cathedral. The bark of the Black Pine is dark grey with ridges and the needles are longer than other Pines. The Scots Pine is the only Pine native to Britain, it has shorter and compact needles and a warm red upper bark. Unfortunately, in recent years we have lost some of our Pine trees, in order to preserve this historic feature, we have planted four new Black Pines along the path. 

As we take pleasure in admiring these magnificent trees in the present, we must thank some of the far-sighted people of the past who have gifted us with this wonderful legacy. Trees make our cities a more pleasant and healthy environment. They enhance biodiversity, reduce flood risk, improve air quality, provide shade, and reduce the urban heat island effect in summer months. If you would like to leave a valuable legacy for future generations, start by planting a tree.  

If you are visiting St. Fagans gardens this autumn, follow this Tree Walk Guide written by Dr. Mary Barkham to learn more about our outstanding tree collection. 

Everlasting flowers in St. Fagans

Luciana Skidmore, 1 Medi 2022

The act of drying flowers dates back to ancient times. In the past flowers and herbs were dried and utilised for decorative, medicinal and culinary purposes. In Medieval times they were used to repel insects and even conceal unpleasant odours. Drying flowers became a popular hobby and preservation method in the Victorian period in England. For thousands of years flowers have had a symbolic meaning in rituals, passages, religious activities and artistic expression. Dried flowers are now more fashionable than ever due to their everlasting beauty and convenience.

This year thousands of flowers were grown in the gardens of St. Fagans for the purpose of drying. They have been naturally air-dried and beautiful flower arrangements were created by our garden trainees. These are now available to purchase in the Museum store. 

Besides their outstanding and long-lasting beauty dried flower arrangements offer many advantages. They can be used in weddings as bouquets, buttonholes, corsages and centrepieces. Because they are dried, they do not require water. They can be bought months in advance and stored with ease, releasing the pressure of having to care for fresh flowers on the big day. They can also be kept and preserved as memories of such a special day. 

They are perfect for home decoration or gifting.  You can create permanent floral arrangements that will enhance your home without the need to buy fresh flowers every week. Did you know that imported fresh flowers can have 10 times the carbon footprint of flowers grown in the UK? Imported cut flowers are flown thousands of miles in refrigerated airplane holds. When grown in colder climates they need heated greenhouses which generate higher carbon dioxide emissions. Not to mention the use of pesticides and fertilizers used in the production of perfect blooms. Fresh roses in February? Not so rosy for our planet.

The cut flowers grown in St. Fagans gardens have been grown from seeds sown in April in our unheated greenhouses. They were planted outside in May when the weather was warming up and have been growing happily and healthily producing beautiful blooms throughout Summer. No pesticides, fertilizers or harmful chemicals were used in this process. Besides being grown sustainably the flowers also provide a source of nectar for pollinators including bees and butterflies. It is always a great joy to admire the hive of activity in our cut flower bed. 

The flowers are harvested in dry weather when they are partially or fully open. Excess foliage is removed, small bunches of flowers are tied together and hung upside down on bamboo canes or strings in a dark and dry area with good air circulation. The flowers are left to dry for two to three weeks until completely dry. Floral arrangements including bouquets, posies, buttonholes, corsages, floral crowns and wreaths can be created with dried flowers. 

There is a vast number of plants that can be dried and used in floral arrangements. Drying flowers such as lavender and hydrangeas or grasses such as Stipa gigantea and Pampas grass is a great way to get started. The stars of our cut flower garden this year are: Limonium sinuatum, Craspedia globosa, Helipterum roseum, Achillea millefolium ‘Cassis’, Limonium suworowii ‘Rat Tail’ and the soft grass Panicum elegans ‘Sprinkles’. 

If you are coming to St. Fagans National Museum of History, please visit our magnificent gardens and take a look at the beautiful floral arrangements available in the Museum shop. 



Amser ‘Cwestiwn y Garddwr’ Treftadaeth, o Erddi Sain Ffagan

Juliet Hodgkiss, 28 Ebrill 2020

Mae Juliet Hodgkiss yw Uwch Gadwraethwr Gerddi Amgueddfa Cymru. Mae hi'n arwain tîm ymroddedig o arddwyr a gwirfoddolwyr yn Sain Ffagan, sy'n gofalu am y gerddi a'u casgliadau o blanhigion treftadaeth arbennig. Mewn ymateb i ddiddordeb cynyddol yn ein gerddi ein hunain, a dyhead cynyddol am harddwch rhai o erddi godidog ein cenhedloedd yn ystod y cyfyngiadau symud, dros yr ychydig ddyddiau diwethaf rydyn ni wedi bod yn casglu'ch cwestiynau chi i Juliet am ei gwaith. Dyma ei hatebion yn ein fersiwn ‘treftadaeth’ ni o Gardener’s Questiontime.

Beth yw'r peth gorau am eich swydd?

Y peth gorau am fy swydd yw cael fy nhalu i weithio mewn gerddi mor brydferth. Mae gennym ni amrywiaeth eang o erddi, felly rydw i'n gwneud rhywbeth gwahanol bob dydd. Rwyf hefyd yn cael cwrdd â chymaint o bobl wych trwy fy ngwaith - staff, gwirfoddolwyr, ymwelwyr, cyd-arddwyr a mwy.

Pa un o erddi Sant Fagan yw eich hoff un a pham?

Yr adeg hon o'r flwyddyn, fy hoff ran o'r gerddi yw'r ardal ger y pyllau. Trwy gydol y gwanwyn, mae banciau'r teras wedi'u gorchuddio â bylbiau gwanwyn; cennin Pedr, clychau'r gog a ffritil, i gyd uwchben carped o anemonïau. Daw’r godidog Magnolia ‘Isca’ i'w blodau yn gyntaf, ac yna’r ceirios a’r afalau. Y goeden ddiweddaraf i flodeuo yw'r Davidia, gyda'i bracts gwyn anferth sy'n siglo yn yr awel, gan roi ei henw iddi - y goeden hances.

Pa un yw'r planhigyn prinnaf yn y casgliad?

Un o'r planhigion prinnaf sydd gennym yw rhosyn Bardou Job, a oedd yn un o'r rhosod gwreiddiol yn yr Ardd Rhosod. Credwyd bod hwn wedi diflannu, yna cafodd ei ail-ddarganfod gan grŵp o selogion rhosyn, yn tyfu yn hen ardd prif warder ar Alcatraz! Fe'i lluosogwyd, a danfonwyd 6 rhosyn atom i dyfu yn ein gerddi. Mae gennym hefyd gasgliad o datws treftadaeth, a roddwyd i ni gan Asiantaeth Ymchwil Amaethyddol yr Alban.

Un o'r tatws rydyn ni'n eu tyfu yw'r Lumper, y tatws a dyfwyd ar adeg newyn tatws Iwerddon. Ni ellir prynu'r rhain, felly mae'n rhaid i ni eu tyfu bob blwyddyn i gynnal ein casgliad.

Pa un yw'r planhigyn anoddaf y mae'n rhaid i chi fynd i'r afael ag ef - un sydd anoddaf i'w gynnal?

Y planhigion anoddaf i'w cadw yw'r tatws treftadaeth. Mae'n rhaid i ni dyfu'r rhain bob blwyddyn i gynnal ein casgliad, ac mae'r rhan fwyaf o'r hen amrywiaethau hyn yn agored iawn i falltod, felly mae angen eu rheoli'n ofalus i sicrhau cnwd da.

Pa un yw'r planhigyn anoddaf i'w reoli?

Y planhigyn anoddaf i'w reoli yw Oxalis, chwyn parhaus gyda deilen debyg i feillion, sy'n lluosi trwy fylbiau. Mae'r bylbiau hyn yn cael eu lledaenu pan fydd y pridd yn cael ei drin. Mae bron yn amhosibl ei ddileu. Ar ôl treulio blynyddoedd yn ceisio ei chwynnu, rydyn ni nawr yn ei gadw dan reolaeth gyda phlannu a gorchuddio tomwellt.

Pa un yw eich hoff amser o'r flwyddyn yn yr ardd?

Fy hoff amser o'r flwyddyn yw'r gwanwyn, gyda bylbiau'r gwanwyn, coed yn blodeuo, y rhedyn yn agor eu ffrondiau, a'r holl blanhigion yn yr ardd yn blaguro i dyfiant. Mae popeth yn edrych yn ffres a newydd, ac rydyn ni arddwyr yn llawn gobaith am flwyddyn wych o'n blaenau yn yr ardd.