The Garden Blog

Curator’s live tour 17/6/20

This week we attempted a live tour of the Garden on our Facebook page with Curator Nick Wray. Of course, despite the driest spring and early summer we can remember, the rain fell down and the thunder and lightening raged. The show went on however, and for those who missed it, here it is in all it’s glory; enjoy!


The long road to today; sugar, cotton and the crimes of Bristol’s past

arges Plants and our history are strongly interwoven, they can evoke personal memories or a collective love of symbolic trees, flowers, scents and sounds; each plant has journeyed side by side with us, our experiences combining to tell a story of our past. Some of these plants have a fleeting appearance, whereas others are so linked with human history that their very mention evokes a deep historical trauma reverberating across continents. This week saw Bristol protestors topple the statue of Colston in the centre of Bristol, one of many men of this city who grew rich through the production of sugar and the selling of African people into slavery. This blog will look at two plants grown in our Tropical zone whose natural adaptations stirred the worst in human greed and brutality, building this city and creating the race divisions we see today. (more…)

Lost in dependable nature

Back in the early two thousands there was a TV series called Lost, many of you may remember it. A number of people survived a plane crash and found themselves on a curious island full of mystery and unusual happenings where everything is not quite as it seems. This is how the UK feels at the moment, an episode of Lost; perpetual idyllic sunshine day after day that doesn’t seem real with the veil of ever present menace that no-one quite understands, all the while information is being discovered that raises more questions than it answers, certainty becomes skewed and things boil over.  (more…)

The Garden in lockdown.

It’s coming up to the fifth week of lockdown and this unusual reality that we’re all living through has become an almost dreamlike normality; the other-world-like quality is enhanced by the perpetual groundhog sunshine that has been virtually ever present for the entire time. Talking of virtually, we all now know what zoom is; all our team meetings and those with other University departments are now taking place on a screen. In the Garden we have just two gardeners at a time and the rest of the week staff work from home, updating plant databases, working on planting plans, researching displays, writing blogs… (more…)