We’ve just launched the new Summer Programme at the South London Botanical Institute (SLBI) in Tulse Hill. We have a huge range of activities, for botanists and non-botanists alike – if you’re interested in plants or gardens in any way, then we’ve got something for you!
Upcoming workshops include ‘Food for Free’ (how to split plants, take cuttings and create new waste from kitchen scraps), ‘Aromatherapy for Gardeners’ (making an after-sun lotion, muscle rub and insect repellent), ‘Plant Recording with Cyanotype Photograph’ (making amazing blue postcards of plant specimens) and (self-explanatory) ‘Scented Kitchen Garden: Rose, Lavender & Gin’.
Gardens of good and evil
We’ve also got a showing of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, part of the Herne Hill Film Festival (including a short talk about carnivorous plants – we have many in our greenhouse) and a talk about the Lost Effra Rain Garden, with a chance to make your own little rain garden. As always, we’ve an exciting Chelsea Fringe event, with home-made nettle cocktails out in the garden on what we hope will be a sunny summer’s evening.
Just a taste
There’s plenty more coming up – see our website, with events all the way up to the end of September. Many events this summer focus on food plants, thanks to a grant from City Bridge Trust for ‘Botany on Your Plate’ – we’re aiming to help people learn more about where their food comes from. We’re also doing plenty of events on ‘Plant Recording for All Ages’, thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund – making more use of our great historic herbarium (dried plant collection). We’re having a lot of school visits on these two themes too – we’re fully booked with those until July (we still have space on school holiday activities in May and August!).
Come and see us
As well as being open for special events, the SLBI is open on Thursdays (10am-4pm) for people to visit our garden, library and herbarium – free of charge. We’re at 323 Norwood Road, near Tulse Hill station.
What’s the Botanical Institute about?
Our aim is to bring botany to the people of South London in unusual and inspiring ways – in keeping with the aims of our founder, when we were set up in 1910. We hope that our mix of traditional and modern events will prove popular and get everyone locally excited (or more excited!) about plants – and of course, we hope that people of all ages and backgrounds will learn more about the vital importance of plants in sustaining our planet.