Latest News

Christmas break for Volunteers - no work from 21 December 2011 to 11 January 2012 inclusive

Congratulations to our Wednesday Morning Volunteers

In 2011 volunteers have worked a total of 2554 hours either in the Gardens or propagating plants, this splendid effort smashes last year's total of 2164 hours. Your efforts are very much appreciated!


A surprisingly good turn out - considering the dark and drizzle. Our Chairman had the task of thanking all the various members of the committee and society for the help they have given to FOBS and the Gardens over the past year. A lot has been achieved, but we couldn't manage without the help and support of our willing volunteers. There is still a vacancy on the committee and we would like to recruit new people to invigorate the society with new ideas. Please email the FOBS Committee, if you can help.

Progress on the Education Centre Project has been slow; FOBS members, the Curator and the Gardens Trust have all spoken with City Council representatives and, in general, have found support for the proposal. Council backing is necessary in any grant application, including the bid for Lottery funding. The trouble is that there are other worthy causes throughout Sheffield and priorities have to be set.

Our Treasurer was able to report increases in revenue from almost all fund-raising efforts. This is a welcome step towards helping to fund a replacement for the aging classroom facilities.

All in all, a very positive, and even occasionally amusing, meeting - our President said it had been one of the most enjoyable AGMs he'd ever attended.

Help from FOBS Members needed

1) Christmas Social Powerpoint Show - please could member send photos of visits to our local gardens to the FOBS Webmaster. They will be incorporated in the Powerpoint presentation of FOBS activities in 2011. Many thanks.
2) Tree Leaflet - Please send a list of your favourite trees (up to 10 & not already in Conifer leaflet) in the Gardens to the FOBS Committee.

New Patron for the Botanical Gardens

The Sheffield Botanical Gardens Trust are delighted to announce that David Moody, the Lord Lieutenant for South Yorkshire, has agreed to become a Patron (29 September 2011). For a list of other Patrons Click here

Gardens keep Green Flag Status

Green Flag Award 2011 Ian M. Spooner
I.M. Spooner 14 September 2011
David Hargate, head of Sheffield Parks, is pictured with the Curator, members of the Gardens' staff and FOBS volunteers who were delighted to accept this year's Green Flag award at a ceremony in September.

FOBS Day Out

Harewood House Terrace - H. Kohler Harewood House Terrace
H. Kohler, 15 August 2011
Harlow Carr Border - H. Kohler
Harlow Carr Border
H. Kohler, 15 August 2011
Harlow Carr Wild Flowers - H. Kohler
Harlow Carr Wild Flower Meadow
H. Kohler, 15 August 2011
A full coach-load of FOBS members set off on Monday, August 15 for the relatively short journey to Harewood House. Here we were greeted by the Head Gardener and a sudden downpour! However, the rain didn't last long and we were able to explore the extensive Himalayan Garden, visit the walled vegetable garden, wander through the borders and admire the parterre planting on the terrace. We still had time to visit the Bird Garden and enjoy the offerings of the restaurant, before heading off to Harlow Carr. A new feature here was the beautiful Alpine House, a source of inspiration to those fans of these exquisite plants. Mass borders, shady woods, more vegetables, a really show-stopping display of wild flowers and an intriguing series of beds demonstrating gardening styles from early Victorian to modern times. Plenty to admire and discuss over a welcome cup of tea at Betty's cafe. Whether novice gardeners or experienced 'old-hands', all enjoyed a colourful and informative day out.
A. Hunter

Shelter in Marnock Garden

Marnock Garden Shelter A. Hunter Marnock Garden Shelter
A. Hunter 04 July 2011
A colourful living 'carpet' has been installed around the edge of the curved roof to provide an attractive feature. Practical considerations included the ability of the gardening staff to reach for routine maintenance and that the rapid drainage on the steeper curves at the centre of the roof would mean plants would struggle to survive in drought conditions.
The shelter provides a delightful seating area in a quiet part of the Gardens.

New FOBS Tree Leaflet - Can you help?

The leaflet "Some Conifers of note in the Sheffield Botanical Gardens" has proved to be popular with visitors. The committee have voted to produce a new leaflet to guide people to some of the most interesting deciduous trees to be found in the Gardens. The problem? With so many wonderful specimens where to start! It has been decided to ask our members and frequent visitors to provide a 'Top Ten' List of their favourite trees. Please send a list of the ten trees that you think should be included in the new leaflet to the FOBS Webmaster.
Practically all the trees in the Gardens now have a name label, but please also indicate which area of the Gardens your tree is situated. For example: Tulip Tree, Liriodendron tulipifera, Osborn's Field (there is another tulip tree in the Mediterranean area). Results will be assessed and the most popular specimens will be included. Many thanks.

Acers, Camellias & Magnolias

Mike Gibbons gave an excellent talk on the development of his garden in Dronfield. His plant collection of Acers, Camellias and Magnolias should serve as an inspiration to all. For some of Mike's tips Click here

FOBS Plant Sale, Sunday 8 May

Blessed with good weather, this year's plant sale was a huge success raising a record amount of funds to support the Botanical Gardens. A big thankyou to our propagation team, who work hard every Wednesday morning to provide the plants for sale. Many thanks also to our volunteers who set up displays and helped to sell the plants on the day.
Although other societies may hold plant sales in the Gardens, the FOBS events are the only sales which raise funds in support of the Gardens. Thanks to the many people who helped our efforts to maintain the Gardens by buying the plants, we hope they will provide you with colour and beauty this summer.

Propagation Study Day

Saturday 16 April, 2011 10am-1pm
A most enjoyable session led by Curator, Ian Turner. Seed propagation, whether bought from commercial dealers, exchanged through organisations or self-collected, was discussed and participants each sowed a pot of seed (Lobelia or Alyssum) - we will report back on the germination success of Ian's recommended technique. [Success - lots of alyssum seedlings Tuesday morning, 19 April] Assuming success, the next task was transplanting of seedlings - we all had a go with Blue Larkspur. Then vegetative propagation, Ian attempted back-to-back forks on a demonstration table and successfully spilt the clump. Despite his claim that 16 April was perhaps the worst time of year to take cuttings, too late for hard-wood and too early for soft, we practised techniques. Who knows? Maybe the Cornus, Syringa and Photinia cuttings will surprise us all! A demonstration of grafting and budding finished off the workshop.

FOBS Cornwall Holiday

April 3-7, 2011
A hugely successful trip, even the weather was reasonable - glorious on the Wednesday!
Eden Project A. Hunter Eden Project
A. Hunter 04 April 2011
Pine Lodge A. Hunter
Pine Lodge
A. Hunter, 04 April 2011
Marsh Villa A. Hunter
Marsh Villa
A. Hunter, 04 April 2011
Pedn Billy A. Hunter Pedn Billy
A. Hunter, 6 April 2011
Caerhays Castle A Hunter
Caerhays Castle
A. Hunter, 5 April 2011
Burncoose A Hunter
Burncoose Nursery
A. Hunter, 6 April 2011
Lamorran A. Hunter Lamorran
A. Hunter, 5 April 2011
FOBS Members, please send your photos to the FOBS Editor
so that they can be part of the Christmas social show or included in the autumn newsletter
Trebah A Hunter Trebah
A. Hunter, 6 April 2011

Tour Guides and Assistants Training Day

Wednesday, 2 March Was very well attended, many thanks to all who came to make this a successful training session. Kay Keeton led the meeting and provided new Tour Leaders' Guidebook packed with useful information. Alison Hunter ran a Powerpoint 'Virtual History Tour' discussing the key developments, influential people and background information about the historic buildings. The Curator, Ian Turner, then led the group on a tour of the Gardens, he pointed out plants of seasonal interest and gave useful tips about guiding visitors.

Result of vote at EGM held on 25 January 2011

The committee would like to thank everyone who came to the EGM. There was a lively, useful discussion with a very positive atmosphere and the motion "That FOBS supports the redevelopment of the Centre and Nursery Area, and funds raised from this point may be used for replacement of the existing facilities" was overwhelmingly approved.