A range of events and exhibits timetabled throughout the day include ‘ask the gardener’ sessions, pop-up plant science demonstrations, and plant shopping along the Garden’s majestic Main Walk.
Activity hubs, listed below, make full use of the Garden, which is at its best in late spring with the Bee Borders, new Cory Lawn landscape by Bradley-Hole Schoenaich Landscape Architects, and the Systematic Beds in full
• Pop-up Plant Science
Here some of the top plant scientists from the East of England will be talking about their research and demonstrating scientific experiments to visitors. Visitors will be able to extract plant pigments, take the temperature of a leaf and find out how plants know their ABC!
• Talking Plants
Visitors can drop in to the Talking Plants tent to get advice from our expert horticultural staff on horticultural problems and gardening dilemmas. Leading scientists will give short talks about their research focusing on how science underpins how your garden grows.
• Plant Promenade
The Garden’s majestic Main Walk will be transformed into a Plant Promenade of shopping stalls with a boutique selection of local independent nurseries with choice plants for sale.
• Meet the Family
Learn all about plant families in the Garden’s unique Systematic Beds. Experts will be on hand to explain the key differences between plant families and invite visitors to pull apart some flowers and use the structures to determine which plants belong together and build a family tree. Younger visitors can create fantasy flowers to plant up a fallow bed with a new imaginary plant family!
• Tour table
The Tour Table is the meeting point for a selection of expert-led tours of the collections and plants that are looking their best in mid-May – the tree collection, the wildflowers, the Systematic Beds, bee plants, and an introduction to the Garden’s National Collections.
In the Glasshouses, visitors can travel around the world, discovering the drama of plant diversity supported by habitats ranging from rainforests to deserts. Garden guides will be on hand to answer questions and share plant curiosities such as the giant Coco de Mer, the largest seed in the world. The new Tropical Wetlands house featuring giant South American waterlilies will be officially opened, offering the chance to find out all about life in hot water.
So whether it’s getting advice on which plant goes where or how to home compost, discovering the inner workings of flowers, picking up some unusual plants for the garden, or simply having a fun day out with the family, there’ll be something for everyone at the Botanic Garden’s Festival of Plants.
The festival will take place from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 18 May 2013