These words by David Bellamy in July 2008 officially opened the University of Bristol Botanic Garden’s Evolution Collection. He was delighted with the decision by Bristol University to create a contemporary Botanic Garden in Stoke Bishop to highlight plant diversity, evolution, rare and threatened flora and how important plants are to all of us.
The Garden is regularly used by the BBC for filming documentaries, supplying plant material for filming close-up and as a venue for short broadcasts. Local radio stations visit for comment on climate and plant advice.
The Garden formed a number of partnerships around the City. The Ballast Seed Garden Project in association with the Arnolfini and Bristol City Council has created a contemporary planting of plants that have stowed away in ships ballast on an old grain barge in Bristol’s historic floating harbour. You can see this display from the walls of Castle Park.
During Easter each year the Garden exhibits work from local artists displaying their work in the garden. These events have proved popular with the public and many of the exhibits are for sale.
During the summer the garden hosts a jazz concert featuring the Blue Notes jazz band. Visitors can picnic while enjoying the music and Garden in evening light.
The Garden has hosted theatre evenings during summer with a Shakespearean company delighting the audience with a variety of plays such as The Tempest.
With exotic plants and the garden’s unique character it makes an ideal backdrop for a photograph. It has hosted publicity shots for theatre and photo shoots for magazine articles.
The Bristol Beekeepers Association uses the Botanic Garden to host their annual honey show. Local beekeepers honey is judged on its quality with the winner taking home the coveted silver queen trophy. This forms part of our annual Bee and Pollination Event where visitors hear talks and see demonstrations on beekeeping.
The Botanic Garden has developed a valuable relationship with the Writhlington School Orchid Project. The school has provided the Garden with orchids and expertise and the Garden has reciprocated with work experience opportunities for young people who are considering a career in Biology or horticulture. Look out for their orchid sales at our events.