Gardens bloom with Commonwealth Games plant display
Four years have passed since the Commonwealth Games took place amid the sun-soaked setting of Australia’s metropolitan Gold Coast.
Now, with 21 days until the 92-year-old Games kick off again in the bustling heart of Birmingham, the Gardens’ team is excited for visitors to watch the official Queen’s Baton Relay as it travels through The Birmingham Botanical Gardens on 27th July.
Steeped in a rich history, the Commonwealth Games carries a great significance of unity and it is a privilege to be a part of the city hosting the event.
Commencing in 1930, the Games were first proposed by clergyman, John Astley Cooper in 1891 who suggested the creation of a “Pan-Britannic-Pan-Anglican Contest and Festival” to be held every fours years in a sporting unification of the British Empire.
First hosted in Hamilton, Canada, the debut Games proved a success for England who took home a total of 61 medals.
Over the years the sporting occasion has witnessed astonishing achievements, most notably of all perhaps when Roger Bannister and John Landy broke the four-minute mile record at the 1954 Vancouver Games.
Since its modest beginnings, the event has grown enormously in both popularity and participation with a staggering 6,600 sports men and women competing today, from across 72 nations and territories.
In honour of Birmingham’s hosting of the Games this year, the Gardens’ team conjured up the brilliant idea of representing the Commonwealth Countries within our plant collection.
“We are growing as many of the 54 national flowers and national crops of the participating countries and territories as possible and will include interpretation labels next to each of the plants”, head gardener, Wayne Williams revealed.
Grown inside the display glasshouses and relevant garden areas, the plants will be situated in spaces which accommodate their specific growing needs.
From Mozambique chilli plants to Tuvalu’s peachy plumeria flowers, there is a wealth of beautifully intriguing plants in store for visitors to view.
Located in an array of places across the 6 hectare expanse of the Gardens, the collection will include familiar faces such as watermelons from Sierra Leone and Samoan ginger roots appearing alongside more unusual specimens like the pigeon pea flower from The Bahamas.
“The Birmingham Botanical Gardens are excited to welcome visitors from all over the world and look forward to seeing them find as many Commonwealth plants as possible. We hope that all our visitors will find it educating, will have plenty of exercise across our 15 acre site and enjoy beautiful scenery at our 190-year-old heritage green space”.