Posted by Happy Homemaker UK

Call me crazy
but I had been DYING to visit 
the Wakehurst Millennium Seed Bank for over a year,
located near Gatwick Airport in West Sussex

It is a joint venture with Kew Royal Botanic Gardens (their 'country garden')
and National Trust's most visited property, Wakehurst Place

I had no idea what to expect
but I was a happy little bee with what I saw 
(and I only had time to see half of it)

- woodlands, heath, bogs, lakes, walled gardens, Elizabethan house, and 'THE' Seed Bank -

Yep, that's cyclamen

Wakehurst is home to an EXTRAORDINARY collection of flora
from the remotest corners of the world

I have never seen such an extensive living collection of rare and endangered species
and so beautifully landscaped

It was a FEAST for my little floral heart
{ pitter patter }

Such a revolutionary idea:

The Millennium Seed Bank safeguards almost 2 billion seeds
from more than 30,000 species of wild plants from 140 countries -
often bearers of the world's food supply, medicine, shelter, and livelihoods

So far, they have successfully collected 10 percent of the world's plant species
They target to conserve a quarter of the world's plant species by 2020

After local collection and transportation to the MSB,
seeds are classified, dried, and then x-rayed to make sure they have the most viable seeds

Storage may be in freezer vaults of -20 degrees Celsius
or cryogenically preserved in liquid nitrogen at a mere -196 degrees Celsius

Germination experiments determine the best way to store and bring seeds to life
And seeds are often stored in their local country as well for safekeeping

You can actually see in the windowed labs

This is definitely a working garden and laboratory with people busy working in front and behind the scenes

Wakehurst not only stores seeds but also cultivates & plants them on the grounds

Visitors can browse one of the nurseries

And like a plant explorer, I had my own dangers...

I had to cover my head while taking this photograph,
for the old oak tree above me was 'raining' acorns like hail
(it happened earlier while driving too, in fear of breaking a windshield)

A working garden

Not surprisingly, they also conduct honeybee research here

Can you see the beehive behind the beautiful, living willow screen? 


As there are reminders of WWII dotted throughout England,
this sign shows a wartime subterranean communication room under my feet

The tree has an odd looking line in it - 
this is a wire from the communication center

WWII 'Wartime Secret'

And I just had to throw in a few photos of the Elizabethan Home

Benches are strategically placed throughout Wakehurst for reading, resting, and bored husbands :)

Nothing more to say but
Ahhh... Total Gardening Bliss

More information: National Trust, Kew Wakehurst

More 'Obscure Garden' posts: The World Garden Of Plants & Tom Hart Dyke

Linking with: Sweet Shot Tuesday

- all photos by me -