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Botanic Garden NGS open day and jazz concert

The Blue Notes Jon Davie

Press release issued: 9 July 2014

Two popular events will take place at the University of Bristol’s Botanic Garden this July. The garden will hold a National Gardens Scheme (NGS) open day this Sunday [July 13] and later this month [Saturday 19 July] a summer jazz concert with the longest running band in the South West, The Blue Notes.

Members of the public visiting the garden this weekend will enjoy large floral diversity displays illustrating pollination and flowering plant evolution.  A network of paths lead visitors through collections of Mediterranean flora, rare natives, useful plants (including European and Chinese herbs) and those that illustrate plant evolution.

The garden is home to the Giant Amazon Water Lily, Victoria amazonica, with leaves 1.5 metres in diameter, the Sacred Lotus collection, many tropical fruits and medicinal plants, and the famous Wollemi Pine.

There will be special tours of the garden throughout the day, plant sales and refreshments. A wheelchair friendly route through the garden is available upon request and a wheelchair can be borrowed from the Welcome Lodge.

On Saturday 19 July The Blue Notes, featuring vocalist Hannah Wedlock, will play at the garden. The music starts at 7 pm with a guided tour of the garden at 4.30 pm. Tickets are priced at adults £10 in advance, £12 on the night, children free.

Nick Wray, Curator of the Botanic Garden, said: “For over 30 years, the Botanic Garden has opened for the National Gardens Scheme.  Over the years thousands of visitors have enjoyed the garden at its best and raised money for the scheme.

“The summer jazz concert is another popular event in the garden’s calendar.  As those who have attended will know, the garden is the perfect setting for this concert and in true British style the show goes on come rain or shine, so bring some friends, a cushion, a picnic and umbrella if wet.”

Further information is available from the Botanic Garden, The Holmes, Stoke Park Road, Stoke Bishop, Bristol BS9 1JG, tel 0117 331 4906 or email

Sunday 13 July - Botanic Garden National Gardens Scheme (NGS) Open Day from 10 am to 5 pm.  Admission is £4.50 (including Friends of the Garden), children free.  Ticket includes a tour of the garden.

Saturday 19 July – The Blue Notes in the Botanic Garden at 7 pm. Tickets £10 in advance, £12 on the night (subject to availability), children free.  Tickets are available in advance from John Leach, 17 Ashton Crescent, Nailsea BS48 2JR, tel 01275 854992. Please enclose a SAE and make cheques payable to ‘FUBBG’. 

Further information

About the Botanic Garden

July, August and September.  Open Monday to Sunday from 10 am to 4.30 pm. 

Admission is £3.50 adults; free to University staff and retired staff, Friends of the Botanic Garden, students and children under 16.

Dogs (except registered disability assistance dogs) are not permitted in the Botanic Garden.

The garden is largely accessible for wheelchairs and mobility scooters with a designated path leading around the garden and glasshouses. Disabled toilet facilities are available on site.

The garden also offers private day, evening and weekend guided tours for groups of ten upwards for gardening or any other leisure clubs. In addition there is a number of pre-bookable Evening Summer Tours.  Please contact the garden for further information.  There is an additional charge for all tours.

Directions to The Holmes

From the city centre go to the top of Whiteladies Road, at the junction and traffic lights go straight ahead across Durdham Down towards Stoke Bishop. At the traffic lights go straight ahead and take the first turning on the right into Stoke Park Road, The Holmes is 150 m on the right.

Members of the public wishing to support the work of the Botanic Garden should join the Friends of the Garden.  For more information go to the Friends of the Garden or write to Susan Redfern, The Membership Secretary, 24 Dublin Crescent, Henleaze, Bristol BS9 4NA.

About the National Gardens Scheme (NGS)

NGS gardens across England and Wales welcome around 750,000 visitors every year. Some are privately owned and open just a few times a year; some open as part of a group with the whole community involved; and others, such as the University of Bristol Botanic Garden, are usually open to the public but choose to support the NGS on certain days.

The proceeds from NGS Open Gardens; including admission, plant sales and refreshments; are donated directly to the charity (although a small proportion may be donated to a nominated local charity). The NGS currently gives away more than £2.5 million each year to nursing, caring and gardening charities, a total of more than £25 million over the past 15 years. Office overheads are small and most of the scheme’s work is carried out by volunteers in county teams so more than 80p in every pound raised goes directly to the NGS’s beneficiaries.

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