Another Heritage Lottery Fund grant for the SLBI!

Great news – we’ve just been awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund grant of £99,600 for our new ‘Plant Recording for All Ages’ project! The project will bring our historic herbarium up-to-date, make it accessible to all and enable visitors to use it for a range of activities. The project will start in May 2016 and will …

Victorian floral fun!

A great day was had by all, yesterday, as visitors flocked here in Victorian costume for our Victorian Variety day. An amazing number of people dressed up for the occasion, and dressed as a Victorian maid opening the door, it was a joy to let them in! All those who came in costume were well …

New Year, New Botanical Events – with a look back at last year too

Our new Spring programme of events is now live! A huge range of activities this time, with something for everyone – botanists and non-botanists, adults and children. Upcoming workshops include Botany for Gardeners, Botanical Perfumery, Twig ID, Willow Basket Making and Terrarium Making. There are also tree walks, talks, a Victorian Variety day (a free …

Botanical Bake Off launches new Autumn events

We kicked off our new season of Autumn events last Saturday 10 October with our very first ‘Botanical Bake Off’! Inspired by the Great British Bake Off, entrants of all ages got creative using botanical ingredients, flowers and flower pots! These were the 3 winning bakes: Visitors enjoyed judging the cakes with a cup of …

Chelsea Fringe – fun with fete, felting & film

Yesterday was our big event for the Chelsea Fringe Festival – a fete in the afternoon followed by an outdoor screening of ‘The Creeping Garden’ film in the evening. Thankfully the weather held and it was botanical ice creams all round, and only a few rugs on the knees later on in the evening. Sarah …

NGS Open Day a huge success

We’ve been open this afternoon for the National Gardens’ Scheme (NGS) – a nationwide scheme in which public and private gardens open up occasionally for charity. We usually do our NGS day in June, but thought we’d open in April for a change, as our garden looks lovely at this time too. The result was around 100 …

New website and botanical wallpaper launched!

Last night we celebrated the launch of our new website and newly refurbished lecture room – both part of our £100,000 support from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Our lecture room now proudly displays a unique botanical wallpaper designed by a local artist, Augusta Akerman, based on her drawings of plants in the SLBI garden and herbarium. …

How wildlife friendly is our garden?

Much fun was had here today during our Gardening for Wildlife workshop. Many thanks to the Centre for Wildlife Gardening in Peckham for running it for us. We learnt all sorts of ideas about how to make our gardens more wildlife friendly – ponds, logs, specially made homes, planting for pollinators, companion planting etc. Then …

Our garden is springing into life

Despite the chill in the air, our garden is finally beginning to show the welcome signs of spring. Our local frogs certainly think it’s worth a visit – there are piles of them in the pond surrounded by frogspawn. No-one here has ever seen anything like it so now’s the time to come if you …