Join in the celebrations of the Garden’s online Festival of Plants, 26-28 May.
From crop diversity and sustainable food systems to tours of the Botanic Garden; from stories about endangered plants to advice on growing vegetables at home and family activities that explore nature; this year’s Festival of Plants will be a fascinating virtual exploration into the world of plants.
As the Garden remains closed due to COVID-19, we are creating a smaller, online version of our annual Festival of Plants which usually takes place in late spring.
Every day on 26, 27 and 28 May virtual visitors will be able to enjoy a range of short talks from plant scientists; virtual tours around the Garden and nature-related family activities. This will include:
- Talks from University researchers at the cutting edge of plant science
- ‘Ask the Gardener’ Twitter takeover
- Virtual tours of the Garden
- Talks from plant conservationists from around the world
- Family activities to do at home
- Ways to get involved with plant conservation activities in your local area
- Interactive, live sessions with plant scientists and horticulture experts
Each day will be themed: Plant Science, Horticulture and Conservation.
“The Festival of Plants is one of the most popular events in the Garden’s calendar and it seemed such a shame for it not to happen even though the Garden is closed. We’ve never done anything like this before, and we hope our visitors will enjoy interacting with our staff and researchers in this virtual way as we aim to bring the Festival of Plants to our visitors, as they’re currently unable to come to us.”
How will it work? On each day new talks, tours and live sessions that fall under the theme of that day – Day 1: Plant Science, Day 2: Horticulture, Day 3: Conservation – will be posted on the Garden’s website as well as a daily live, interactive event that we hope people will tune in for and take part in:
Tuesday 26 May, 4.30pm – Professor Beverley Glover, CUBG Director and Plant Scientist will host a Facebook Live session talking about pollination – what plants are grown in the Garden with pollinators in mind, and what the plants themselves are doing to attract the pollinators. There will be the opportunity to put questions to Beverley live, or send them in advance.
Wednesday 27 May, 4-5pm – The popular ‘Ask a Gardener’ tent is moving online with a Twitter Takeover. This will be the chance to ask our expert panel of gardeners about what to do in your own garden, from growing potatoes to pruning roses and growing under glass. Questions can be sent in advance, or on the day to @CUBotanicGarden
Thursday 28 May, 4.30pm – The Garden’s Curator, Dr Sam Brockington, will present a Facebook Live session about the Garden’s Collections Strategy and conservation work. Join him on a walk around the Garden looking at endangered plants and discussing the work that botanic gardens can do to protect them. You can send in questions on the day or in advance.
To send questions in advance, please send them on social media to @CUBotanicGarden or email them.
The Garden’s Learning team will be running a host of brilliant family activities to do at home to explore the wonderful world of plants – projects like making your own flower press and herbarium sheets with bits and bobs from around the house.
There will be loads of films from the Garden and world of Plant Science:
- Meet the Garden’s trainees and discover some of their top tips as they share some of the favourite things they’ve learnt as part of their trainee programme with us.
- Explore the fascinating world of plants as Plant Science researchers from around Cambridge University tell us about their research into subjects such as crop diversity, sustainable food systems, how bees pollinate plants and what affect this might have on how we live our lives now and in the future.
- Phyte Club: In Defense of Plants – students passionate about plants explain why plants are important and why they should be conserved.
- Find out about plant conservation around the world and how botanic gardens are helping to protect some of the world’s most endangered plants. Explore some of the fascinating stories about endangered plants in the Garden’s Collection and download tips about wildlife conservation in your area and how you can get involved.
- Enjoy tours of the Glasshouse Range, behind the scenes of the Garden and some of the seasonal highlights.
So while you can’t come to the Garden, we hope to bring some of the excitement and joy of plants to you.