Birmingham Botanical Gardens horticulturalists at PoliNations

Our horticulturalists have reflected on the incredible time they had at the PoliNations festival in the city centre.

Wayne Williams, head gardener, and Chris Howell, worked with community organisations to plant a variety of plants for the garden festival in Victoria Square, which took place between September 2 and 18, and then gave free daily guided tours to visitors.

Wayne said: “We were really proud to be part of such a fantastic festival. The Botanical Gardens are a real celebration of different cultures and horticulture and PoliNations echoed that, on a dramatic scale in the heart of the city.

“It was great to help plant the marigolds with the city’s community groups and for some of them, it was their first foray into gardening, so we hope it helps to spark their enthusiasm for growing more plants from now on.”

Commissioned by UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK, PoliNations was part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival and took place as the city celebrated hosting the hugely successful Commonwealth Games. It was presented with the support of Birmingham City Council

Featuring huge architectural trees and thousands of plants, it comprised five tree installations up to 40ft high and sculptures inspired by iconic plants – such as daisies, pansies, apple trees, and roses – that are staples of British gardens but are not native to Britain.

“It was a fantastic experience to be involved with and the hundreds of visitors we showed around had a genuine interest in the plants and their histories,” added Wayne.