One of the UK’s most significant historic botanic gardens, The Birmingham Botanical Gardens are a place of beauty and serenity that have remained intact since 1829, after the introduction to Britain of a great number of new plants from all over the world. These gardens house a vast and diverse collection of plants that are open to the public. Besides their crucial role in botanical education and research, they also offer outstanding open-air Candlelight performances, which truly are a feast for the senses.
Located in Edgbaston, the 15-acre botanical gardens, are easy to reach by public transport. A great number of buses pass by, including the 23, 24, X8, 12, X10, 13, X21 and 126, or you can take the Edgbaston Village Tram to the last stop and enjoy a nice 8-minute walk to the gardens.
Facts, Curiosities and Interesting Things about The Birmingham Botanical Gardens
1. Stroll around the swathes of greenery, witnessing the wildlife that roam the trees.
The gardens feature a butterfly house, a tropical paradise of rare species that will freely come and land on you. Your photogenic scale is sure to hit the roof with a Heliotrope perched on your shoulder. Elsewhere, you’ll find majestic peacocks, houses of parrots and friendly robins around to gaze at all day at the botanical gardens.
2. The botanical gardens are home to an array of colourful plants from around the world.
Towering, bushy trees among the vibrant flowers underscore your whole visit. It’s the glue that makes the entire canvas come to life with style. You’ll find over 7,000 different plants from camellia sinensis to wollemi pines to handkerchief trees (hey, not a bad place for a quick sob then, as it turns out). Take a wander into one of the many greenhouses to transport yourself out of blighty and into the world’s exotic utopias.
3. Seasonal walks offer a suggested route to visit most of the Plants of the Month.
There are seasonal walks meticulously designed and assigned to each month of the year. Go to the gardens’ website to find a detailed plan for a walk for any time you choose. Autumn has three walks where you can enjoy nature in its true form. You’ll also find the plants of the month for each time of year. For instance, vigna caracalla and the pink-flowered Cyclamen are the star plants of September.
This season, among the gorgeous plants and lush gardens, you can enjoy sensational classical performances courtesy of Candlelight. Listen to classically trained musicians as they reimagine timeless compositions and popular songs by contemporary artists, like ABBA, Coldplay, Hans Zimmer and Vivaldi in the open air. The gardens offer a peaceful oasis where visitors can relax, enjoy the music and take in the beauty of nature.
What else can you do at The Birmingham Botanical Gardens?
A relaxing weekend walk among nature followed by a sit-down and a brew is as perfect a day as any, and The Tea Room Pavillion serves just this purpose. Cake and coffee is the order for a cool autumn afternoon. It’ll even dish up a slap-up lunch to break up your day with hearty grub. In summer, you can sit outside the café, perhaps gripped by a novel and adding to your still non-existent tan.
Additionally, The Birmingham Botanical Gardens engages with the local community and often collaborates with schools and universities to promote plant conservation and environmental awareness. With nearly 200 years of knowledge and expertise, there are cross-curricular Teaching Sessions that can also be booked for educational purposes.
The Birmingham Botanical Gardens have enormous historical significance, house diverse plant collections and provide unique educational resources to schools and universities. This season, they are also offering enchanting Candlelight concerts that promise to mesmerise visitors and music lovers with their signature sea of flickering candles.
If you’re intrigued by the beauty of these sensational live music performances, there are several other venues in the city chosen for their cultural significance and architecture, set to host shows by candlelight.