Birmingham Botanic Gardens are situated in the leafy suburb of Edgbaston which is a short ride from Birmingham New Street station for the visitor arriving by train – yes, it was ‘Sarah’s day out’ for uninterrupted time doing what I love – observing nature.
The gardens are old, they were opened in 1832, and designed by John Loudon. From 1893-1897, Ernest Henry “China” Wilson was a trainee botanist at the gardens. He want on to become a notable plant collector. They have glasshouses which have tropical, subtropical, mediterranean and arid zones, and a collection of over 7,000 plants from all over the world. They also have the National Bonsai Collection (if you like that sort of thing, although I don’t).
Their tree collection includes a fine monkey puzzle, a small ginkgo, and a very small Wollemi pine which was planted in 2007, but doesn’t seem to be enjoying the Birmingham climate very much.
The Wollemi is a tree in the same family as monkey puzzle and until 1994 was thought to be extinct. It’s rediscovery is a fascinating botanic find. I will be writing more about this interesting tree.