See Monty Don in person at the Botanic Garden

19 July 2015, 11.00 AM - 19 March 2015, 5.00 PM

Monty Don will be lecturing at 11am and 2:30pm in the Wills Hall conference centre.

The Botanic Garden is delighted to welcome the renowned television presenter and gardening writer, Monty Don, on his first visit to the new garden. Monty will be sharing his passion for the pleasures and rewards of gardening in his talk ’Why Garden?' held at Wills Hall and conference centre.

Refreshments will be available all day;
 
Devers Room and West Terrace from 10.00am - 5.00pm
 
Wills Hall - 10.00am - 11.00am and then again 3.30pm to 4.45pm
 
Tours of the Garden;
 
11.30am, 2.30pm and 3.30pm
 
This special event has been organised to help celebrate Bristol’s European Green Capital Year 2015, the 40th Anniversary of the founding of the Friends of the Botanic Garden and the 10th Anniversary of the relocation of the botanical collections to the new Botanic Garden at The Holmes. The Lecture is supported by the Annals of Botany, the Linnean Society of London and Cleeve Nursery.

While tickets for both lectures are sold out, there are still plenty of opportunities for visitors to participate in this special day and see Monty at the Botanic Garden. He will be touring the first new University Botanic Garden built in the UK in over 40 years with Honorary Director, Simon Hiscock and Curator, Nick Wray 1-2.20pm

The first Botanic Garden in Bristol was founded in 1882 and this year is the tenth anniversary of the botanic garden since it moved from Bracken Hill, in Leigh Woods, Bristol. The Botanic Garden has a strong evolutionary theme and cultivates over 4500 plant species forming four core collections that illustrate plant evolution, plants from Mediterranean climates, useful plants and rare and threatened native plants tothe Bristol area.  Star attractions include an amazing evolutionary dell demonstrating the evolution of land plants including the dinosaurs’ favourite plants: ginkgos, cycads, tree ferns, and monkey puzzles.  Other delights include the Chinese and Western herb gardens and an inspiring display of plants illustrating floral diversity.  The garden will be ablaze with summer colour.  Do not miss the glasshouses, home to the Giant Amazon Waterlily and the unique Sacred Lotus collection, tropical fruit, medicinal plants, carnivorous plants, orchids and cacti.

Nick Wray, Curator said: “We are delighted that Monty is able to give our special lecture in this our Anniversary year. He is a renowned writer and television presenter and the UK’s favourite gardener. He first appeared on television in 1989 on “This Morning” and continued as their regular gardening expert for 8 years. He became the lead presenter for the BBC flagship programme Gardeners’ World between 2003 and 2008 and then again from 2011 when Monty began hosting Gardeners’ World from his home, Longmeadow, in Herefordshire. He has now presented gardening and travel programmes for over 20 years, and is the main presenter for the Chelsea Flower Show coverage for BBC2. We are all looking forward to hearing him speak and introducing him to the Botanic Garden.

In addition to seeing Monty Don, visitors can also see the Shaun of the Jungle part of the Shaun the Sheep trail, designed by Martyna Zoltaszek and sponsored by Dunkley’s Chartered Accountants. Shaun is here to raise money for Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal providing lifesaving equipment for Bristol Children’s Hospital, and throughout the Shaun in the City trail the Botanic Garden will make a donation from each adult entry (children are free to the Botanic Garden) to this wonderful cause’.

His other TV credits include, Tomorrow’s World, Fork to Fork, Real gardens, Lost Gardens Around the World in 80 Gardens, Growing Out of Trouble, My Dream Farm and Mastercrafts. Monty presented a series on Italian Gardens on BBC2 which was followed by another on French Gardens. In 2014 he presented a series called Real Craft for More4 and Big Dreams Shared Spaces for the BBC. Monty’s latest series for BBC2 The Secret History of the British Garden is due for transmission in 2015.

Further he has recently finished recording the second series of Shared Planet for Radio 4. In this programme Monty explores the complex interface between a growing human population and wildlife.

He is a prolific journalist and was the Observer’s gardening editor from 1994 until 2006 and now writes a regular column for the Daily Mail and Gardeners’ World Magazine. He has written over 20 books including the best selling Fork to Fork, The Sensuous Garden, The Jewel Garden (with Sarah Don), The Complete Gardener and most recently, The Road to Le Tholonet.

Monty is a committed organic gardener and was for many years the President of the Soil Association. He has worked with schools and groups of drug addicts to build respect and reward from working with the natural world and has a strong belief in the importance of communities working together through an understanding and love of the land.

“The real importance of gardening is the empowerment that it gives people, however small or seemingly insignificant their gardens might be. It is surprising how liberating it is, if you can grow anything at all – and there is as much pleasure in a snowdrop as in a successful career.” Monty Don

Refreshments. Plants for sale courtesy of Cleeve Nursery

Admission to Garden: £4.50 for adults; free to University staff, Friends of the Botanic Garden, students and children under 16.

Monty Don, photographer Marsha Arnold