The Garden Blog

The return of an old friend

After winter, the ground slowly wakes up in increments; snowdrops and hellebores in January, crocus in February. By March we’re looking up at magnolias and cherries, down at daffodils and forward to longer days and warmer temperatures. The old spring favourites quicken our heartbeat, but I’m going to talk about an understated gem at the Botanic Garden. This is a plant that I look forward to seeing every year; you could easily walk its path without noticing, as it produces flower low to the ground while everyone is looking elsewhere. One of those plants that when you’ve seen it one year you look out for it again, until it becomes like greeting an old friend who always seems happy to see you.   (more…)

March of the Magnolias

Magnolia campbellii subsp.mollicomata ‘Lanarth’.

There’s nothing like watching nature mark off the times of the year, like familiar landmarks of a train journey to a favourite place, we know we’re moving away from winter when we see magnolias flower. The last time they flowered we couldn’t have known the year we had in store until they bloomed again, but here we are a year later and there they are with a comforting familiarity that the seasons bring, but for magnolias, they’ve seen it all before. (more…)

Botanic Garden talk for Lunar New Year Festival of the Ox

By Alice Maltby

Join the Botanic Garden and Bristol Museum and Art Gallery in an Online Festival of music, dance, talks, craft activities, storytelling, meditation, yoga and more. Events will take place during 16 – 23 February 2021.

According to the Chinese Zodiac people born in a year of the Ox are honest, trustworthy, diligent, dependable, strong and determined.

The Festival is in partnership with Avon Chinese School, BESEA TV, Bristol & Avon Chinese Women’s Group, Bristol & West of England China Bureau, Bristol Shaolin Wushu Academy, Bristol Wutan, North Somerset Inter-Cultural Dance Association, South Gloucestershire Chinese Association and University of Bristol Botanic Garden. (more…)

Come back pine needles …….

By Alice Maltby

“Joyful Christmas” by Viggo Johansen (1891)
A tree in the house is a highlight of childhood.

I adore real Christmas trees. I fully understood people’s need for bringing out their decorations early last year but we maintained our tradition of having a real tree in mid December even though they seem to be more expensive every year. The scent of pine needles is an integral part of Christmas but this year, instead of our preferred pine tree, we had to buy a ‘no-drop’ Nordman as that was all that was left. (more…)