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Find out how flowers attract pollinators at the Botanic Garden NGS Open Day

Paeonia x suffruticosa 'Akashigata' Andy Winfield

Press release issued: 16 May 2018

The University of Bristol Botanic Garden will hold its National Garden Scheme (NGS) Open Day this Sunday [20 May]. Visitors to the Garden will be able to hear how flowers use a variety of features to attract pollinators.

During the NGS Open Day there will be the opportunity to go on a tour of the new peony garden, which will be unique in southwest Britain. The peony garden forms the first phase of the Chinese Culture Garden and people on the free tour will be able to see the Gansu and Mudan Chinese peonies.

Postgraduate students from the University's School of Biological Sciences will also be on hand to explain some of the pioneering work being undertaken into how insect pollinators select flowers.

Members of the public visiting the Garden will be able to enjoy the collections of Mediterranean flora, rare natives, useful plants (including Western and Chinese herbs) and those that demonstrate plant evolution.  Large floral diversity displays illustrate pollination and flowering plant evolution

The Garden is home to the Giant Amazon Water Lily, Victoria amazonica, tropical fruit, medicinal plants, orchids, cacti, carnivorous plants and the unique Sacred Lotus collection.

Nick Wray, Botanic Garden Curator, said: "We are delighted to continue to support the National Garden Scheme in this our 40th year of opening under the scheme and thank the scheme organisers for the anniversary sundial gift.

"Over the past 40 years many thousands of people have enjoyed the Botanic Garden at its best, whilst raising much needed funds for the National Garden Scheme and its charities. We look forward to many more years of supporting this important and worthwhile scheme."

There will be special tours of the Garden throughout the day, plant sales, and refreshments provided by Chandos Deli.  Visitors can also pick up the latest information on weekend courses at the Botanic Garden this year including digital photography, planting for pollinators, drawing, sunprinting, beekeeping and painting butterflies, moths and flowers.

The Botanic Garden NGS Open Day is also an ideal opportunity to enter the NGS second annual photography competition in association with BBC Gardeners’ World magazine.

The Botanic Garden National Garden Scheme Open Day will take place on Sunday 20 May from
10 am to 5 pm.

Admission to the Botanic Garden NGS Open day is £6 (including Friends of the Garden), children free, and entry price includes tours.

The tour of the new Botanic Garden peony garden will take place at 2pm.

Proceeds from the day go to the NGS and University of Bristol Botanic Garden.  Last year the NGS donated £3.1 million to a variety of charities including Macmillan Cancer Support and Marie Curie.

Further information

About the Botanic Garden
The Botanic Garden has a strong evolutionary theme and cultivates over 4,500 plant species forming four core collections that illustrate plant evolution, plants from Mediterranean climates, useful plants and rare and threatened native plants to the Bristol area. 

Star attractions include an amazing dell demonstrating the evolution of land plants including the dinosaurs’ favourite plants: ginkgos, cycads, tree ferns, monkey puzzles and the Wollemi Pine.  Other delights include the Chinese and Western herb gardens and an inspiring display of plants illustrating floral diversity. 

Normal admission and opening times
The Botanic Garden is open from 10 am until 4.30 pm (except during weekends in November, February and March when opening times change to 10.30 am until 3 pm). 

The Garden is open Monday to Friday and closed at weekends from December until the end of January.

From February until the end of November the Garden is open for seven days a week including bank holidays.

Admission is £5.50 (Gift Aid payment)* or £5.00 (non - Gift Aid payment); free to University staff and retired staff, Friends of the Botanic Garden, students and children under 18.

*The adult gate entry fee of £5.50 includes a 50p voluntary donation which UK taxpayers' can pay, allowing the Botanic Garden to benefit from a 25 per cent refund of tax from the government on each adult ticket.

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

The garden is accessible for wheelchairs and mobility scooters with a designated path leading around the garden and glasshouses. Disabled toilet facilities are available on site and a wheelchair is available upon request from the Welcome Lodge.

Pre-booked guided tours of the garden for groups of ten upwards are available seven days a week.  Please contact the garden for further information.  There is a charge for the guide.

Directions to the Botanic Garden 
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 Botanic Garden at the Holmes is 150 metres 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 Botanic Garden or write to Susan Redfern, The Membership Secretary, 24 Dublin Crescent, Henleaze, Bristol BS9 4NA.

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