Thursday, July 1, 2010

Bristol Zoo Gardens to exhibit at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

Bristol Zoo Gardens to exhibit at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show for the first time

Bristol Zoo Gardens has been invited to exhibit at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show for the first time.

Staff from the Zoo’s horticulture department will be showcasing its national plant collection of Hedychiums (also known as ginger lilies) at the show, which opens to the public next week (July 6-11).

Matthew Bufton at Bristol Zoo's herbaceous border
Photo courteousy Bristol Zoo

Bristol Zoo Gardens holds a collection of around 80 Hedychium varieties and will be exhibiting 20 of them in the Plant Heritage tent.

Hedychium, meaning sweet snow, are beautiful subtropical plants with highly scented spectacular blooms and attractive leaves. They are closely related to ginger and commonly known as ginger lilies.

Matthew Bufton, Gardens Manager at Bristol Zoo, said: “It is a great honour to have been invited to show our great collection of plants at this prestigious flower show. Bristol Zoo is well known for its animal collection, but perhaps less so for its wonderful botanical gardens and amazing plant heritage, so this is a fantastic opportunity to give visitors to Hampton Court Palace Flower Show a taste of the inspiring gardens Bristol Zoo has to offer.”

As well as being home to over 450 different animal species, Bristol Zoo also has 12-acres of award-winning botanical gardens which house Bristol’s most important collections of plants.

As holder of the National Plant Collection of Hedychium, Bristol Zoo Gardens has set up a three-year national garden performance trial, which aims to benefit all gardeners who wish to understand more and grow these spectacular plants in the future. Seven of the hardiest species were trialled at different sites throughout the UK, chosen to reflect our varied climatic conditions.

The Zoo also holds the National Plant Collection of Caryopteris and a number of trees which have been given the status of ‘Champion trees’ by the Tree Register. These include Cornus contoversa ‘variegata’, Trithrinax campestris and Crataegus laciniata.

The Zoo is also home to many other unusual and rare trees, shrubs and plants from around the world, such as the monkey puzzle tree, tree ferns, Polylepis and the purple-berried flax lily.

The Zoo’s dedicated team of gardeners work hard to make sure the gardens look their best all year round, and the gardens recently won a prestigious Bristol in Bloom award for the eleventh year running.

For more information about Bristol Zoo Gardens, visit the website at  or call 0117 974 7300.

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