Bristol Zoo Gardens has won a Bristol in Bloom award for the 17th year running
The Zoo’s team of gardeners, who have more than 350 years’ experience between them, carried off the gold award for the best commercial landscape garden.
Gardens’ manager Matthew Bufton said: “We were thrilled to win this award. Bristol in Bloom is judged to Royal Horticultural Society standards and it’s great for our work to be recognised.”
He leads a team of seven gardeners, five nursery staff and seven volunteers who look after every plant, shrub and tree on the Zoo’s 12-acre site.
The Bristol in Bloom judges were shown the 180-year-old Zoo’s botanical gardens including its famous herbaceous border, the top terrace with its thousands of bedding plants and eye-caching trees like the stunning scarlet oak.
They also saw the grassed roof on top of the Terrace Theatre which is part of the Zoo’s energy conservation programme.
Matthew said he explained to the judges what plants were grown in the Zoo, why certain plants were chosen and the reasons for the positions that were selected.
Gardeners at the Zoo plant around 50,000 plants and more than 10,000 bulbs each year as well as caring for the 170,000 other shrubs, trees and plants.
He said: “We have people working on the gardens 365 days a year. Our gardens have to look good all year round. They have to be at the same standard for all our guests as the Bristol in Bloom judges.”
The Zoo’s head of horticulture Eddie Mole who designs all the horticultural displays at the Zoo is already planning the flower beds for summer next year.
Eddie and Matthew were presented with the gold award in the commercial landscape category of the Bristol in Bloom awards in a ceremony at Ashton Gate stadium.
Organisers also presented Eddie with a special “In Bloom” award for his “support and commitment to the floral campaign to beautify the city of Bristol. Matthew said: “We are honoured to be recognised for our high standard of horticulture by the people of Bristol.
The garden team, both staff and volunteers, work tirelessly to make the internal and external gardens look the best it can be for both our guests and animals.
We are very grateful for the time and effort the Bristol in Bloom judges take. This may be the 17th time we have won an award in Bristol in Bloom but it is always a surprise.”