Birmingham Botanical Gardens
Birmingham Botanical & Horticultural Society is responsible for one of the most significant botanical gardens in the UK located in Edgbaston, two miles from Birmingham’s city centre.
The Society was formed in 1829, with the intention to develop a botanical garden. The chosen site for BBG was an 18-acre area of the Calthorpe estate, named Holly Bank Farm.
The gardens were designed in 1829 by J. C. Loudon, a leading garden planner, horticultural journalist and publisher.
The aim was to combine a scientific and ornamental garden and arboretum that would include a nursery and market garden for selling plants, fruits and vegetables to help support the gardens' maintenance costs.
The layout of the Botanical Gardens has changed very little since Loudon’s design was implemented. The Tropical House was built in 1852, partly to house the tropical water lily, Victoria amazonica. This was followed by the construction of the Subtropical House in 1871 and the bandstand in 1873. The present-day Terrace Glasshouses replaced the original conservatory and lean-to houses in 1884.
Throughout their history, the Botanical Gardens have been important as a centre for social functions in the city; flower shows, political meetings, festivals of drama and music, wedding receptions, but especially as a place for day trips.