Botanics Volunteer Sessions
Like gardening? Love spending time in the Botanical Garden? Come and join us for a volunteer session.
Led by the Parks Team. All welcome.
If you are new to the sessions, or even if you're not, everything will be explained.
No gardening experience necessary. Please wear stout footwear and clothes for gardening. You are welcome to bring your own gardening gloves.
All tools and materials will be provided. Mid-session break.
Meet at the Temple of Minerva (formerly the Interpretation Centre) in the Botanical Gardens. Led by the Parks Team.
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One of the most delightful features of the Royal Victoria Park, the Botanical Gardens were formed in 1887 and within their 3.8 hectares (9 and a half acres) is one of the finest collections of plants on limestone, certainly in the West Country.
Less than a mile from Bath City Centre in the north west corner of the Park, the gardens boast many choice trees, shrubs, a fine herbaceous border, a rock garden and pool, a scented walk, a collection of old shrub roses, and a replica of a Roman Temple (the City’s exhibit at the British Empire Exhibition held at Wembley in 1924). These are just a few of the many attractive and interesting features of the garden.
To mark the centenary in 1987 the gardens were extended to include the Great Dell, a disused quarry and formerly part of the park itself, which already contained a very fine collection of conifers. It has been developed into a woodland garden, and contains ever more plants and features to add to this fascinating and beautiful park.
Gardening for climate change - Managing water resources is a key theme of the Royal Horticultural Society and 'In Bloom' competitions this year and it affects all gardeners, whether gardening for competition or not. See this report to find out more!
You may have noticed that the cascade in the Botanical Gardens in Royal Victoria Park Nursery is no longer running. Historically fresh water ran into the park from the golf course and the area around Camden Crescent but this supply was stopped by Wessex Water when it was found to be causing flooding to basements in Lansdown. The cascade is leaking, and needs to be re-lined but traditionally this wasn’t a problem as there was a constant supply of water from further up the hill. With this supply now gone, we’re looking into the best options for re-instating the cascade and improving conditions in the pond at the Botanical Gardens and in the duck ponds further down the hill. We are exploring a range of options and hope to have the cascade in the Botanical Gardens working again as soon as possible.
Botanical Gardens Refurbishment 2019/2020
Winter works - we are currently undertaking winter works at the botanics, including removing dead shrubbery and coppicing the laurels at the back of the long border (J on map below).
The Parks Team has started a refurbishment of the Gardens, which were originally laid out in 1840, using three historical plant catalogues as a reference for restocking. In 2019/20, work will concentrate around the lawn A and borders B and J as shown on the 1958 map below. (Note how J used to be split into two). The plant lists from 1857 and 1893 catalogued all the plants donated at the time, though no maps exist showing the actual location of the plants in the Gardens until 1958 which, at least, identifies the historic borders.
Over the years, plants have come and gone and new borders have been created in the historic lawns for many donated trees. With regard to the trees, we intend to cultivate this grass around the trees but remove odd shrubs that have been planted in the lawn and that are taking light and nutrients away from the many fine trees that we now admire in the garden. We intend to restore the lawn and the work being done in lawn A is to prepare the ground so that re-seeding can be undertaken in spring.
1958 Map of the Botanical Garden borders