Looking back at a glorious 2022 – thank you!

Can you believe we are almost at the end of another year? And what a year it has been at the Gardens!

We have been awarded £590,814 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to restore our four historic glasshouses and have also secured £40,000 from Veolia Environmental Trust via the Landfill Communities Fund to build new, environmentally sustainable composting facilities.

We hosted the Queen’s Baton Relay for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games in the summer, took part in the magnificent PoliNations event in the city centre, and earlier in the year, also welcomed a new chief executive and a new chair of trustees.

And we have welcomed thousands of visitors, once again, to this wonderful heritage site, who enjoy the tranquil space, the greenery and the beautiful floral displays that the team create every season.

As Christmas approaches, the work continues for the gardening team.

The drought-tolerant planting for the car park beds continues this month. These permanent displays will include pollinator-friendly shrubs, including Juniperus ‘Blue Star’, Salvia ‘Royal Bumble’, Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’ and Ulex europaeus ‘Flore Pleno’ and will provide a colourful welcome for all.

We’ll continue to rake up the fallen leaves to help minimise the risk of diseases and to reduce the number of pests, and we’ll also prune shrubs and hedges while they are dormant.

Of course, we’re fully in the festive mood now: four fabulous Christmas trees greet visitors, with a 15ft specimen in the car park and three others in the shop, gallery and front entrance.

Have you got tickets for the gorgeous Luminate winter light trail? It’s enchanting visitors and runs every evening at the Gardens (except Christmas Day and Boxing Day) until Monday, January 2.

If you are visiting in daylight hours, there is still much to enjoy at this time of year, but one of the highlights is the scented witch hazel (Hamamelis), which shows off its citrus peel-like flowers. Do make a beeline for it – just follow your nose.

If you can spend some time in your garden, there are a few jobs you can do this month: it’s the best time to plant bare-root roses, ornamental trees and shrubs, and we also recommend moving potted plants to sheltered spots in your garden to protect them from the coldest temperatures.

You can prune back climbing roses between now and February and don’t forget to feed the birds over winter – they’ll thank you for it.

If you’re struggling to buy that discerning friend or relative a gift this Christmas, don’t forget about our wonderful garden gift shop, which is free to access via the reception.

You can also buy a gift voucher, redeemable against membership, admission and events or for the ultimate gift, we couldn’t recommend membership to the Gardens more! From just £30, you can treat a loved one to a whole year’s access to the Gardens.

We’re open all over the Christmas and New Year period, except for Christmas Day and Boxing Day, and remember that we’ll close at 3 pm on Christmas Eve. We hope to see you soon, whether you want to enjoy the green space or are intent on walking off that Christmas pudding and brandy butter!

Whatever your plans for the festive period, we in the gardening team wish you a very happy Christmas and a wonderful 2023.