Free workshops run by the Royal Horticultural Society are amongst new attractions at this year’s open day at Nottingham City Council’s Nursery at Woodthorpe Grange Park.

Visitors are invited to the Nursery from 10am to 3.30pm on Saturday May 9th to take a peek behind the scenes of Nottingham in Bloom.  There will be a range of stalls and activities, and the chance to look around the glasshouses where all the city’s plants are grown.

The RHS will run three 30-minute workshops on the theme of ‘Perfect for Pollinators.’  They will also encourage visitors to get involved in the RHS ‘Greener Streets, Better Lives’ campaign to improve their own neighbourhoods, and will be giving away Nasturtium seeds, which are easy to cultivate in difficult surroundings.  They’ll also show visitors how to make butterfly feeders as part of a focus on wildlife gardening.

The Nursery at Woodthorpe Grange Park grows up to half a million plants each year for the city’s displays and plays a vital role in the City’s entry into the East Midlands in Bloom competition each year.  It also grows plants for a number of neighbouring local authorities and others further afield.

Plants for sale will include 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 the Nursery staff.

The open day is a unique opportunity to see the newly-planted wicker sculptures all together before they go out into the city at the beginning of June to form the floral trail supported by Nottingham BID.

Visitors will be able to find out about the ‘Bee-Friendly Nottingham’ campaign and be encouraged to make a small change for nature – such as finding space for a hedgehog house, a bat box or a bird feeder.  A wildlife-friendly mini show garden will be amongst special attractions on the day, alongside visits to the beehives in the old kitchen garden, and advice on making gardens more attractive habitats for wildlife.

There will also be planting and craft activities, information about composting, advice from Nottinghamshire Bee Keepers’ Association, stalls from local organisations and food producers and a café.   Nursery Manager Glenn Springthorpe and the team will be available to give gardening tips and answer questions, and staff and students from Nottingham Trent University’s Brackenhurst campus will be on hand to speak to anyone interested in studying Horticulture.

Visitors will also be able to vote on the winners of the Nottingham in Bloom Painting and Photography competitions, both sponsored by Capital One, and suggest a name for the Grass Lion, sponsored this year by Hollies Day Nurseries.