Caerleon’s new Roman garden opened today

24 Hour Museum – follow the link for pictures.

A Roman-style garden opens today, September 24
2008, at The National Roman Legion Museum in Caerleon, South-East
Wales. The museum has recreated the Roman garden as a fresh attraction
for the site that will compliment (sic) the military components of the
2000-year-old stronghold.

The fortress at Caerleon was built in AD 75 allowing the Romans to
protect one of their furthest flung outposts, Wales, and the new garden
offers a glimpse into the horticultural habits of the Romans whilst
introducing their influence upon our gardens today.

Romans were among of the first to use their gardens as a place
of relaxation and decoration and this has been drawn upon for the
recreated garden.

“We’ve used archaeological remains and research
to interpret a Roman Garden,” explained Andrew Dixey, Estates Manager
at The National Museum Wales. “The Romans invaded Britain in 43 AD and
brought their gardens designs with them. We’ve tried to recreate what a
Roman garden could have looked like.”

The garden features box hedges, bay trees and vines to offer a taste of how the Romans may have lived.

Whilst the Roman gardens visually modernised the use of outdoor space,
they also introduced techniques and plant species that are still around
today. Techniques such as springtime planting and composting have both
been attributed to the Romans; whilst the introduction of the domestic
version of the Welsh wild leek went on to become the Welsh national
emblem!

“The
Roman garden enhances our interpretation of Roman Caerleon and is a
special addition because it’s Museum staff and volunteers who’ve
actually researched and created it,” added Bethan Lewis, the manager of
The National Roman Legion Museum.

“We currently attract about 70.000 people a year and look forward to
welcoming new visitors wanting gardening tips from the Romans.”

The garden replicates the Romans’ use of vegetables, fruit and herbs
like rosemary, thyme and mint. It is a setting that places a range of
recognisable plants alongside the more unusual, including the black and
white Horehound.

Roman Legionary Museum, Caerleon
 

Roman Legionary Museum, High Street, Caerleon, NP18 1AE, Gwent, Wales
T: 01633 423 134
Open: Open: Mon-Sat 10.00-18.00, Sun 14.00-18.00
(1 November-31 March Closes 16.30)
Open Bank holidays except Christmas Period
Closed: Closed over Christmas.

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