Beverley Glover, Director, says: “We’re delighted that so many visitors have been enjoying the Garden. What’s interesting about these figures is that May 2016 has been our fourth busiest month ever recorded and busier than any previous May, June or August.”
The month of May is well-known for its blossom and a beautiful time to visit gardens which burst to life as temperatures climb and day length increases. However, this May the weather has been mixed with some unusually wet and cold days.
Beverley explains: “It’s a particularly beautiful time to visit the Garden – we celebrate our flowering trees, the spring tulips are out, joined by peonies, iris and other herbaceous plants. However, the mixed May weather doesn’t seem to have deterred our visitors. If there’s a downpour, the Garden Café is always a welcome refuge as is our Glasshouse Range which houses many beautiful and interesting plants including a stunning range of alpine plants which flower in May, all of which look spectacular and brighten up any dull day. And June is usually just as good a month for amazing colour and diversity throughout the Garden”.
Despite being part of Cambridge University, the Botanic Garden is to a large extent self-funding and encouraging visitors to the Garden is vital to its existence.
“Our role is two-fold” explains Beverley. “Our main role is to grow, maintain and look after the University’s collection of plants used for teaching and scientific research. But as well as being an ‘outdoor laboratory’, the Garden also acts as an outdoor classroom and source of inspiration for schoolchildren, gardeners, adults and anyone looking for an uplifting and enjoyable experience. We like to offer courses and events which are as interesting, inspirational and as diverse as the plants we grow such as Tricky Taxonomy, Painting ‘en plein air’ and City Garden Design together with ‘Festival of Plants’ and ‘Apple Day’.”
This year, for the first time, the Garden has also hosted the International Garden Photographer Of The Year (IGPOTY) exhibition which has been an additional attraction but Beverley believes it’s the beauty of the Garden itself which never ceases to amaze and attract visitors: “There seems to have been a real buzz around the Garden,” continues Beverley. “Our Head of Horticulture Sally Petitt produces weekly plant picks which we’ve been tweeting and have proved to be very popular. Her team also always work hard to make sure everything is looking at its best as we head into the summer months.”
Beverley hopes visitors continue to enjoy upcoming events on offer. “We open the Garden late on Wednesdays in July for our annual ‘Sounds Green’ picnic proms, which are part of Cambridge’s Summer Music Festival. This is always a lovely and popular event for families, friends as well as Friends’ of the Garden; our education team run free, drop-in family events on the first Saturday of each month; we offer free Sunday Garden Highlight tours throughout the Summer as well as our ‘Science on Sundays’ free, drop in ‘science-in-a -nutshell’ talks – popular for those wanting to find out a little more about the wonders of the plant world.
Publication Date 05/06/2016