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South London Botanical Institute to visit the Botanic Garden of Rome as part of new botanical exchange partnership

12 April 2018

The garden at the South London Botanical Institute in Tulse Hill

Gardeners from the South London Botanical Institute (SLBI) in Tulse Hill are due to visit the Botanic Garden of Rome at the end of April as part of a new botanical exchange partnership between the two organisations. The partnership is being funded by Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) in collaboration with the Interactive Community of Arboreta (ArbNet), under a new scheme to share knowledge, skills and resources within the international botanic garden community. The ultimate aim is to enhance plant conservation around the world.

The partnership grant will support an exchange visit to each garden in spring 2018 to coincide with the most suitable time in the garden as well as with local events. Gardeners from Rome will be coming to the SLBI in June. 

The Botanic Garden of Rome (BGR) is part of the Sapienza University of Rome based in the ex-garden of the 16th century palace of the Corsini family.  The location & origin make it a fine example of a historic garden with an important artistic heritage.  It counts about 2000 species, including palm grove with 24 species, bamboo grove with over 76 species, rose garden, the “Gardino dei Semplici” containing plant species cultivated for medicinal use, Japanese Garden and the Corsini greenhouse of succulent plants.

The South London Botanical Institute (SLBI) was founded in 1910 with the aim of bringing botany to the working people of south London.  This aim continues today, with people from local communities and further afield able to explore the plant world, enjoy the botanic garden, library and herbarium, and participate in a wide range of activities for all ages and abilities.  

The gardeners from Rome are particularly interested in learning about the educational and community events hosted by the SLBI - the school visits, botanical workshops, talks and other events that reach out to the wider community in London – this is something that they would like to do more of in Rome.

In addition, both organisations look forward to learning from each other’s gardens about what new plants they might be able to add to their collections. Rome are keen to learn more about the aquatic plants, cacti, succulents and carnivorous plants grown at the SLBI, whilst the SLBI are interested particularly in the Mediterranean plants in Rome.  Both gardens will share learning about their fern collections, as well as discussing seed banking, databasing and plant collection management (including dried plant specimen herbaria).

Commenting on the partnership, Sarah Davey, SLBI Head Gardener, said: “We are delighted to have this wonderful opportunity to visit the prestigious Botanic Garden of Rome and to learn from their botanical collections. We look forward to welcoming the Italian gardeners to the SLBI in June too, to show them our garden and our wide range of activities”.

The SLBI is open for frequent and varied events and activities, as well as general public openings on Thursdays from 10am-4pm. For more details see www.slbi.org.uk, call 020 8674 5787 or email info@slbi.org.uk.

Ends

Notes to editors

About the South London Botanical Institute (SLBI)
The SLBI was founded in 1910 by Allan Octavian Hume, with the aim of bringing botany to the working people of south London.  Hume was a servant of the British Raj, a founding member of the Indian National Congress in 1885 and a dedicated social reformer.  He bought the 1860s Victorian house and converted it for his purposes early in the twentieth century, installing the library and herbarium and laying out the garden.  The herbarium cabinets designed by Hume are still in use and contain plant specimens dating back as far as 1802. The garden has evolved and now has a thriving pond, particularly popular with visiting children.


The SLBI is open for frequent and varied events and activities, as well as general public openings on Thursdays from 10am-4pm, and by appointment (call the office from Monday to Thursday).  It runs a wide-ranging botanical and environmental programme of educational and social activities for many ages and levels of knowledge.  SLBI herbarium collections are used for research and in the online Herbaria@Home. For more details see www.slbi.org.uk or call 020 8674 5787.

About the Botanic Garden of Rome

The Botanic Garden is a didactic and scientific facility of the Sapienza University of Rome, and occupies an area of 11 ha in the historic centre of Rome. It is located in the ex-garden of the 16th-century palace of the Corsini family, an aristocratic family from Florence. The palace, now the seat of the “Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei”, and its garden were transferred to the Italian State at the end of the 19th century. The Botanical Garden’s location and its origin make it a unique place, as it is an example of a historic garden with an important artistic heritage. Today it counts about 2000 species and includes several valuable collections: the arboretum, with many centuries-old trees; the palm grove with 24 species, amongst which many specimens of the end of the 19th century; the bamboo grove with over 76 species; the rose garden that traces the evolutionary history of roses since antiquity; the “Giardino dei Semplici”, based on the mediaeval hortus conclusus, containing plant species cultivated for medicinal use since old time; the Japanese Garden created between by the Japanese architect Ken Nakajima (1914-2000); the Corsini greenhouse that was created during the mid-19th century hosting a collection of succulent plants.
For more details email Fabio Attorre – fabio.attorre@uniroma1.it


For further information:

Caroline Pankhurst, SLBI Manager; 020 8674 5787; caroline@slbi.org.uk

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