Gardener’s Blog – December 2014

Christmas and New Year is just around the corner and although a lot of people will be enjoying a break, the Birmingham Botanical Gardens never sleeps and essential work is now being put into place by our resident gardeners, Chris and Wayne, as well as making plans for 2015.

Wayne has been hard at work sourcing orchids for our new Orchid Case, which is due to be completed this month. Hundreds of beautiful specimens have been located from flower shows and brought back to our gardens. All of the stunning plants do not naturally grow in the UK, which will give you the opportunity to get up close to orchids from all around the world. Remember to visit regularly throughout the year as the species will change.

Plans are in place to create a brand new Plant Evolution Trail in the Subtropical House. Wayne is working hard to complete the trail that will wrap around the glasshouse by spring-time.

Chris is planning to restore the Discovery Garden following the damage caused by the storms. A generous donation was received by Baron Davenport’s Charity, which has enabled her to start to rejuvenate the area. Wild flowers will attract insects and a fence will be wrapped around the duck pond. One of the trees will also be opened up allowing children to climb inside its middle. Once completed the garden will be the perfect place for children to explore.

Her next project will be the area around the bandstand, which is getting jazzed up with camellias and peonies to enhance the backdrop for wedding photographs and, of course, add a blaze of colour.

Our gardens will be coming alive this month, so make sure you take a stroll down by our fountain to see all the Hellebores that will be coming into flower during the winter months. Observe the different coloured stems of the shrubs that play their part to brighten up the gardens this month. Breath in the wonderful scents that will emanate from the Witch Hazel and Daphne this month.

Wayne will be planting Christmas Lily of the Valley in the Mediterranean House to celebrate the festive month. Did you know that a hundred years ago these flowering plants were iconic Christmas decorations? Be amazed at the flowering Christmas cacti that are growing on the trees (not in plant pots) in the Subtropical House.

It’s no doubt that Hyacinths and Poinsettias will feature heavily this Christmas, so if you want your own Hyacinths to start flowering, bring them inside now and remember to keep your Poinsettia in a draft-free area. Winter plants are available to buy from our shop, which is the ideal place for a little inspiration for your own festive flower arrangements this year.

If you’d like to fundraise or donate to our Fund for Fun campaign to help create a better children’s play area in our Discovery Garden, please contact Marie on 0121 454 1860 or