Let’s hear it for social media…

Communication is easier than it has ever been…

Media has changed dramatically in recent years, we’re inundated with news of the world and images of the lives of people we don’t know promoting lifestyles that are unattainable for most of us. This can lead to a slump in self-worth but nevertheless an irresistible urge to keep looking at the unrelenting sea of information.  Social media is unavoidable today; some of you may be reading this through a social media app, and undoubtably a high percentage of you will have one or more accounts with a platform or two. It is said that on average users worldwide spend over two hours a day on social media; this will continue to be an upward trend and communicating this way has become the norm for many. Whatever anyone thinks about social media, it is here to stay. There has been much written about the negative effects, fear of missing out, peer pressure, trolling and spread of misinformation to name a few, and while these effects are undeniable, I think that social media can be a place of inspiration and discovery. (more…)

Climate crisis

Towards the end of June I went to France for a two week holiday; it was beautiful with diverse landscape, plant life and wildlife causing me to spend large amounts of time tip toeing through meadows looking at the ground in the early evenings. It was also very hot. It was the hottest recorded temperature in France and was a struggle to do very much at all during the day. I found the heat intimidating particularly with the growing realisation with nearly everyone, that these temperatures are going to become the norm. Experiencing the high temperatures that we did was a real wake up call and not a little scary. A few degrees higher and it would have been impossible to even go outside let alone the slow trudging that we did manage before finding some way to stop our blood rising above 37 degrees. (more…)

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…)