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Come in from the rain and head to the tropics

Viburnum x bodnantense

Viburnum x bodnantense Andy Winfield

29 January 2014

Ever wanted to visit the Amazon rainforest without leaving Bristol? The University of Bristol Botanic Garden is offering visitors the opportunity during a special winter ‘open Sunday’ this weekend [Sunday 2 February].

Members of the public will have the chance to visit the Garden’s glasshouses and experience the secret treasures of the Amazon rainforest, see orchids, bromeliads and encounter a magical world of tropical food and medicinal plants.

There will be a two-hour special tour of the Garden with the curator, Nick Wray, at 10 am.  Visitors will have the opportunity to hear updates of new developments and learn about plants of seasonal interest.

Winter flowers in the Garden include the highly fragrant Chimonanthus praecox (wintersweet), Eranthis hyemalis (winter aconite), Viburnum x bodnantense (viburnum) and the well-known Galanthus (snowdrop).

Nick Wray, Botanic Garden Curator, said: “The majority of garden plants become dormant through autumn to early winter, but some have evolved to flower during the cold months to exploit the ecological niche created by less competition for the attention of winter pollinators. Our focus as gardeners is centred on these plants.

“These floral highlights set amongst the sculptural shapes of the Garden and deciduous trees and shrubs lift the spirits and are signposts to spring.”

The special winter Sunday opening at the University of Bristol Botanic Garden, The Holmes, Stoke Park Road, Stoke Bishop, Bristol, will take place on Sunday 2 February 2014 from 10 am to 4 pm.

Entry is £4.50 adults; free to University staff and retired staff, Friends of the Botanic Garden, students and children under-16.

Further information is available from the Botanic Garden, The Holmes, Stoke Park Road, Stoke Bishop, Bristol BS8 1JG, tel 0117 331 4906 or email

Further information

About the Botanic Garden

January, February and March: Open Monday to Friday from 10 am until 4 pm, or dusk if earlier. Closed on Saturday and Sunday except for advertised winter tours.

The Welcome Lodge will be closed but informational leaflets will be available and a donation from non-Friends is requested.

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

The garden also offers private day, evening and weekend guided tours for groups and gardening or any other leisure clubs. Please contact the garden for further information. There is a charge for the guide.

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 Friends of the Garden or write to Susan Redfern, The Membership Secretary, 24 Dublin Crescent, Henleaze, Bristol BS9 4NA.

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