A visit to Bristol Botanic Garden

I had a recent visit to Bristol for work purposes, the weather was cold but beautifully sunny and it was too good an opportunity to waste, so I took a detour on the way home to visit Bristol Botanic Garden.  I was not sorry that I did, even though autumn has started to get that wintery-bite to its edge it was still a glorious day.  I will put in a bit of an apology, these photographs were all taken on my phone as I had not brought my usual camera with me on the trip.
I like visiting botanic gardens and I love visiting good ones.  Sadly good ones are not easy to find these days as funding issues mean that many are getting to be more garden (park) than botanic.  This one however is still a proper botanic garden.  The moon gate above is the entrance to the Chinese medicine garden, I have never seen one before so it was very interesting to wander around.
This was evident as I wandered around, there was lots of labelling, and yes its not the classiest labelling in the world but it was clear and plentiful and in an educational setting as this garden is, it was not out of place.
It was not just the plants there were labelled, but in proper physic garden style there was labels telling you what these plants could be used for.
This one was very calming.....
....... this one was not....
The autumn foliage was still very evident and shining in the sun.
I fell in love with this tree, Taxorium distichum, apparently this grows to be a very large tree so it is not practical for my garden, but what a shame, it is such a beauty. 
I then wandered around to the glasshouses, these are divided into three zones, temperate, not so temperate and tropical.
I am not a big fan of cactus, but this was a great display, I almost understood why people like them so much when I saw them set out en masse.
I did not manage to find the name of this blue flowered shrub, someone will know it and add it to the comments I am sure, but it was a fantastic blue, deeper than it actually looks here.
There were these pitcher plant things, again, I am not a fan but seeing it in a more naturalistic setting than I usually do made them more appealing.  (Still not buying any).
I love this staghorn fern, I have been buying ferns this year for the woodland garden, no not this type; I still need to get some more but this one needs a bit more temperate weather than Leicester can manage I think.
I think I liked this Giant Amazon Lily best of all though.  It is just such a wonderful plant, not one I could ever grow as I do not have a glasshouse with a pond in it (funnily enough) but it is always a treat to see.
Best of all though, through all the careful planting and care, nature takes its own control of the situation and under the floor grating there were ferns popping up here and there.
I spent a very happy time wandering around the gardens, it reinforced my belief that these types of gardens are really important.  What a brilliant resource they are, not only for the University who owns it, or the local community who have such a beautiful garden near by.  I imagine it is used by the local schools too (and if not it should be) as it teaches about the beauty and the science of plants plus how they can be used.  These types of gardens are not cheap to run but they have huge social value and the more we lose the poorer we become. 


  1. Taxodium distichum - the swamp cypress - is one of my favourite trees too! A deciduous conifer that turns a fabulous russet brown before dropping its needles, it's beautiful isn't it? It has these weird nobbly 'knees' on it's roots that stick out of the ground (tech term is 'pneumataphores') that help it to breath in its preferred native swamp settings. Thanks again for an inspiring post!

  2. What a great detour, definitely worth it. I agree that these places are really important. Sadly, their funding is so easy to cut in the current economic climate.

  3. I love visiting botanic gardens too, and you gave us a great tour around the Bristol botanic garden. Thank you, for I don't think I have the opportunity to visit this one in due course.


Post a Comment

Comments are approved before being published