Last weekend I went along to the Easter Festival at the Bristol Botanic Gardens. Having never visited (shameful I know after living here for 6 years now…) in truth I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect! Surely a fairly small, urban city such as Bristol wouldn’t have all that much to offer in the way of tranquil, natural beauty and exotic plant species? Boy, was I mistaken!
As part of the Bristol Botanic Gardens’ Easter weekend festivities a sculpture trail featuring both local and national artists had been created amongst the foliage. Straightaway I was surprised by the scale of the gardens themselves – based on first impressions of a small entrance of a side road at the rear of Durdham Down one could be mistaken for thinking the gardens would be a great deal smaller than the 1.77 hectares that they comfortably fill.
Against the backdrop of a beautiful Victorian house, here you can find a huge variety of plants and trees that aim to show the diversity of nature through four stages: Evolution, Mediterranean Climate Regions, Local Flora and Rare Native Plants and Useful Plants. Encompassed within the sprawling gardens there are two large ponds, greenhouses, and dramatic, colourful displays incorporating inspiration from around the world such as plants from New Zealand and South Africa and a Chinese medicinal herb garden. All this beauty was hidden away and just waiting to be discovered on a gorgeous spring weekend!
This mixture of both domestic and exotic plant life, colour, shape and form made the perfect backdrop to present both traditional and modern sculpture. As commented by Nicholas Wray the curator of the Botanic Garden: “The natural world has inspired artists to make the varied and innovative pieces of work that will be displayed at the festival.” This was abundantly clear when walking along the trail. Masterpieces of both a large and small scale fitted seamlessly within the natural beauty that was on show at the gardens.
The use of elements such as wood, metal, ceramic and stone ensured the sculptures served to show how the artists had been influenced by nature and had incorporated it’s unique and inspiring shapes and forms into their designs. Pieces such as these by Somerset based artist Willa Ashworth and Gloucestershire based Adrian Bates served only to embellish the backdrop of the architectural plants and trees on show.
I had such a peaceful and inspirational morning at The Bristol Botanic Gardens that I’ll definitely be heading back in the future. I’m already looking forward to seeing how this wonderful space transforms in colour and shape as the seasons change.
If you would like to visit The Bristol Botanic Gardens you can find more information and a calendar of upcoming events on their website.
Have you ever been to The Bristol Botanic Gardens? Do you have any other outdoorsy Bristol recommendations for me?
The Blonde x
*I was given a complimentary ticket to the festival by the lovely folk at The Bristol Botanic Gardens as part of this post . All opinions are my own and I only feature events and products that are fitting and in keeping with the tone and and content of my blog or Instagram page.