Established in 2012, The Bristol Community Plant Collection is the first of its kind and involves community groups and schools from around the City of Bristol growing varieties and different species variety of Calendula, with the objective of establishing a dispersed collection of plants to achieve ‘National Plant Collection’ status.
This means that plants were grown in a number of different locations before being brought together for display at the Zoo as part of their award-winning gardens.
The ‘growers’ were supplied with training, as well as all the equipment they needed such as seeds, soil, plug trays, plant pots, growing trays, containers, watering cans and instructions. Bristol Zoo also ran workshops for groups to instruct them on hand pollination and the technical aspects of producing genetically true species.
Not only does the project teach and nurture practical skills but it can have dramatic effects on the lives of those involved by aiding personal development, promoting a healthy lifestyle and enhancing participant’s quality of life.
Helen Pillinger, a member of the Upper Horfield Community Garden group says “Many of our group were already keen gardeners however this was a brand new challenge and we were all excited to be involved. We all learnt so much about ourselves and we hope to use our new skills and knowledge working with other community groups in the area.”
The success of the Bristol Community Plant Collection has established a brand new way to approach plant collection, prompting Plant Heritage to re-write the guidelines and rules of keeping a National Collection and it has even reached critical acclaim by being featured in leading horticulturists research worldwide.
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