Visitors will be able to take a rare peek behind the scenes of Nottingham City Council’s renowned plant nursery during a free open weekend on May 20 and 21.

The nursery at Woodthorpe Park on the outskirts of Sherwood grows well over a million plants each year – not only for the city’s displays but for neighbouring councils and others further afield, including Blackpool. The glasshouses will be open from 10am to 4pm on Saturday May 20 and Sunday May 21 so that visitors can see the plants before they are distributed next month.  Planted wicker sculptures will also be on display.

A wide range of plants, shrubs and trees will be for sale at the adjoining Woodthorpe Park Plant Shop, including bedding varieties to be used in the city’s summer displays.  Customers will also have the chance to design and plant up their own hanging basket, with advice from Nursery staff.

Councillor Dave Trimble, Nottingham City Council Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, said: “Many councils no longer run their own nurseries, but here in Nottingham we have built on our longstanding reputation for producing quality plants in order to secure commercial customers from across the country.

“In the past year or so we have invested in a variety of equipment to enable vast quantities of plants to be grown from seed by our small nursery team.  May is the best time to visit the nursery to see everything ready to burst into bloom and we hope that many people will take the opportunity to visit.”

The open days will also include a variety of other attractions for all the family.

On Saturday, the Royal Horticultural Society will run free planting activities throughout the day.  There will also be guided visits to the beehives in the old kitchen garden with Nottingham Bee Keepers’ Association; craft activities; stalls from local organisations and food producers; animals from Stonebridge City Farm; Forest Kids activities; a scavenger hunt in the Tropical House, and a café run by 111th Nottingham Scouts.   Visitors will also be able to vote on the winners of the Nottingham in Bloom Painting and Photography competitions, both sponsored by Capital One.

On Sunday there will be a variety of craft stalls.

During both days, visitors will be able to visit the Tropical House – which is sponsored by Hollies Day Nurseries – and spot the jungle animals made in Nairobi from recycled metal including car doors, oil drums and bus parts.

The Nursery is at Woodthorpe Park, Woodthorpe Drive, Nottingham NG5 4HA.