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To turn the idea of a National Botanic Garden of Wales into a landscape masterplan. The site, Middleton Hall, designed by owner Paxton, had once been a fine landscape. Elements of its handsome past were still present, though hardly perceptible: scrub woodland had invaded the sites of former lakes; the house, the focus of the original design, had vanished; and the only remaining structures were either former outbuildings or the crumbly remnants of walled enclosures.
The garden’s general organisation is now conceived as a processional movement for visitors, from a low-lying point of arrival to a cultural and scientific heart where original buildings survive on higher ground. The visitor approaches the heart through a sequence of views and experiences with order and clarity provided by the simplicity of a spinal Broad Walk. Special garden spaces have been created by adapting and restoring remnants of the earlier design. The Walled Garden and riverine lakes wind along the valley in the centre of the site. There are places to receive large numbers of people and remoter areas where more delicate aspects of nature can be encountered in solitude.