Free Garden Tours

Book ahead at the tour table for a place on one of our free expert-led tours, and really get to know the Garden. Tours last approximately 45 minutes.
11.00 Alex Summers, Glasshouse Supervisor
The Reserve Glasshouses:

An opportunity to see the reserve glasshouses and get an insight into the range and diversity of collections held under glass and what goes into propagating, growing and maintaining them.

11.15 Gail Jenner, Garden Guide
Keeping Plants in `order’– the Systematic Beds.

A brief history and explanation of the fundamental concepts of “systematics”.

11.30 Helen Seal, Garden Guide
The Botanic Garden : an accidental nature reserve

A brief look at what other life is supported by the experimental ecosystem created by growing an enormous diversity of plants.

11.45 Jason Daff, Horticultural Facility Manager, Sainsbury Lab
Growing plants without the sun – The Sainsbury Lab Glasshouses

A tour of the Controlled Environment plant growth facilities. Hear how modern plant science research is dependent on controlling environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, light intensity, light spectrum and day length to minimise variability, manipulate plants and ensure experiments are repeatable. A rare chance to see inside these high-tech facilities and discover how they are used to support the remit of the Sainsbury Laboratory.

12.00 Julian Doberski, Garden Guide
Stories of Trees in the Botanic Garden

A tour looking at the range of trees in the garden and what makes them fascinating.

12.15 Sally Petitt, Head of Horticulture
Highlights Tour

A tour with our Head of Horticulture, looking at her pick of the Garden.

12.30 Prof Helariutta, Sainsbury Laboratory What makes a tree a tree?
What is a tree? What isn't? These questions seem simple, but the answers aren't straightforward. Take a tour of the Garden with Prof Helariutta and learn to see plants in new ways.

12.45 Vanessa Price, Garden Guide
Patterns and Plants

There are many patterns to be found in the natural world. Come and discover some of those found in plants here in the Botanic Garden and hear why they occur.

13.00 Jenny Egbe, Garden Guide
Seasonal Highlights

A tour showcasing the best of the season as the Botanic Garden comes in to bloom.

13.30 Pam Newman, Garden Guide Mountains, deserts and tropics
A tour through the Glasshouses, looking at the way the plants are adapted to different environments.

13.45 Jason Daff, Horticultural Facility Manager, Sainsbury Lab
Growing plants without the sun – The Sainsbury Lab Glasshouses

A tour of the Controlled Environment plant growth facilities. Hear how modern plant science research is dependent on controlling environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, light intensity, light spectrum and day length to minimise variability, manipulate plants and ensure experiments are repeatable. A rare chance to see inside these high-tech facilities and discover how they are used to support the remit of the Sainsbury Laboratory.

14.00 Helen Seal, Garden Guide
The Botanic Garden: an accidental nature reserve
A brief look at what other life is supported by the experimental ecosystem created by growing an enormous diversity of plants.

14.15 Katie Abley & Joanna Landymore Phyllotaxis
Come along to see the amazing patterns that plants make through the arrangement of their leaves and petals.

14.30 Sally Petitt, Head of Horticulture
Highlights Tour

A tour with our Head of Horticulture, looking at her pick of the Garden.

14.45 Julian Doberski, Garden Guide
Stories of Trees in the Botanic Garden

A tour looking at the range of trees in the garden and what makes them fascinating.

15.00 Elizabeth Rushden, Garden Guide
Down under and beyond

Take a trip to the southern hemisphere and see plants from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

15.15 Pam Newman, Garden Guide Mountains, deserts and tropics
A tour through the Glasshouses, looking at the way the plants have adapted to different environments.

15.30 Rod Mulvey, Garden Guide
“Endless forms”: finding order in diversity

Looking at how ideas have changed over the history of the Botanic Garden -how plants are related to one another and why plant classification is relevant in contemporary biology.

15.45 Alex Summers, Glasshouse Supervisor
The Reserve Glasshouses

An opportunity to see the reserve glasshouses and to get an insight into the range and diversity of collections held under glass and what goes into propagating, growing and maintaining them.


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