The Garden Blog

The gobbledegook on plant labels explained.

By Nicola ‘Froggie’ Rathbone

If you visit the garden regularly you may have noticed that the green vinyl we normally scribble plant names on with a big black indelible marker pen are being replaced with black and white vinyl. They look pretty much like engraved labels but are far cheaper and easier to replace when a name changes. This has happened quite a number of times since the 1990’s when botanists began looking at the DNA of plants and decided that some have been misnamed….. (more…)

A symbol of International Women’s Day

Irene Cambi, A woman with her hair in a plait and wearing glasses, smiles broadly. She is holding the foliage of a yellow feathery plant, Acacia dealbata.
With the delicate feathery foliage and flowers of Acacia dealbata on International Women’s Day

My name is Irene Cambi and I have the incredible honour of being Bristol Botanic Garden new trainee. I studied politics and human rights before becoming completely and totally amazed by plants. As a woman, and considering my interests in politics, today is a very important day to me.

Today, 8th of March 2019, is the International Women’s Day (IWD). This is a date that brings women (and men) together to fight for a more equal world and celebrate the political and social rights achieved. Although the United Nations began celebrating the IWD only in 1975, this day had been celebrated all around the world long before then. Indeed, the first National Women’s Day was observed in the United States, on the 28th of February 1909, to honour the 1908 female garment workers’ strike in New York. (more…)

Tea, thatch and early spring

Crocus appearing in the Garden.

Today as I write this the sun is shining, the birds are in full voice singing, cawing and screeching around the Garden. Bulbs are popping up, crocus are the first with daffodils a week away from carpeting the ground with yellow. Primroses are dotting grassy areas and bees are beginning to forage in the middle of the day; the minimum temperature that a bee can fly is said to be 13 degrees, so when you see one out and about you know the season is changing. (more…)

Winter wildlife in the darkest days

Friendly robin

I’ve just been turning the compost heap, it’s pretty much the darkest day of the year. I’ve been joined by three bickering robins and a scurrying blackbird. Compost heap turning is a feast for them with all the bugs and worms who themselves are eating the soft plant material in the heap. The Garden is full of wildlife and at this time of year as the bees and butterflies disappear and many birds migrate, we notice the residents that stay around.