Token used to Enter the Gardens in 1836

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Milestones and noteworthy events occuring at Sheffield Botanical Gardens


"A Real magical Christmas" 16th and 17th December, 2006

20,000 people came along to enjoy the Christmas spirit at this highly successful event which raised £15,000 for the Sheffield Childrens Hospital Appeal. There were Christmas lights throughout the Gardens; Christmas characters amongst the bushes; floodlit trees; reindeer and sleigh; Santa’s Grotto in the Pavilions, a craft market on the broadwalk; carols and music on the stage; children's rides including a helter skelter; stilt walkers and food stalls. Mulled wine and mince pies were available at the Curator’s House. A real magical glow at the west end of the pavilions in the Sheffield Botanical Gardens Christmas Event 2006 - © Meg Jullien

After a spell of wet weather during the preparation stages, the show weekend was fine and festivities were opened by Mary Bagley, Director of Parks and Countryside, Sheffield City Council, at a preview evening on the 15th December. In spite of the disappointment when the promised ice rink failed to materialise everyone enjoyed the event which was organised by the Sheffield City Council with the Sheffield Childrens Hospital, Sheffield Rotary Club, Real Radio and Sheffield Newspapers. A traditional style Hog Roast at the Sheffield Botanical Gardens Christmas Event 2006 - © Meg Jullien

Art in the Gardens 2nd and 3rd September, 2006

Around 350 artists exhibited more than 4,000 pieces of work, at this years Art in the Gardens festival which was visited by approximately 20,000 people. Art and Craft exhibitions, Botanical Art, Photography, Children’s art activities and entertainments, Art through textiles, an Art and Craft market, and entertainments on stage throughout the weekend all contributed to an exciting and stimulating event.

A most successful Preview evening was held on the Friday 1st September and the Celebrity Portrait competition, featuring Joe Scarborough was judged. This was won by Trevor Neal. The event was opened by Councillor Jackie Drayton, Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Sir Bob Kerslake, Chief Executive Sheffield City Council, Mary Bagley, Director of Parks and Countryside Sheffield City Council, together with the organizers and sponsors, Anne Barron, Scottie Gallery, Howard Simpson, Assistant Outdoor Events Officer Sheffield City Council, and Joe Rowntree, Sheffield Botanical Gardens Curator. The crowd enjoyed a fine evening with the background of the floodlit pavilions and the lit marquees with musical entertainment throughout the evening.

After the first two Art in the Gardens events which were held in glorious weather, high winds and driving rain failed to dampen the spirits on the Saturday of the show although a certain amount of damage to marquees was sustained. The sun came out again on the Sunday and around 20,000 people attended in total over the weekend. The prize presentation by Councillor Jackie Drayton and the Leader of the Sheffield City Council, Jan Wilson, was held on Sunday afternoon.

Yorkshire in Bloom Awards, 2006

The Sheffield Botanical Gardens was awarded the Yorkshire in Bloom Gold Award in the Yorkshire Tourist Board Tourism Award - Country Houses, Estates and Gardens category for 2006.

Quote from the Judges:-

“There is a WOW factor on first sighting the restored 90 metres long pavilions, as a backcloth to the herbaceous borders and lawns in the foreground. The floral content was to a high standard. This 19 acre site is supported by the Sheffield City Council and the very many enthusiastic volunteers. The judges were given a detailed and most informative tour through the different collections of temperate region plants and, throughout, the obvious interaction between staff, children and disabled was clearly apparent. The Riddle Trail is intended to involve family groups. Compost making and careful use of water are all part of the Garden’s sustainable policy and the Curator explained a creditable list of future ideas and plans.”

BBC Gardeners’ World Plant Swap at the Gardens on the 14th July, 2006

The BBC Gardeners’ World team led by Monty Don arrived at the Gardens early on a glorious summer’s day after touring Sheffield’s Green City and surroundings on a three day tour of the area. They visited Marsh Lane Allotments, Broomhill Infants School, & Heeley City Farm amongst many other locations.

The Gardens provided a spectacular setting for the Plant Stalls and the BBC Gardeners’ World Road Show, red, double-decker, open-topped bus was parked on the promenade in front of the Pavilions.

The BBC Gardeners' World team in front of the pavilions at Sheffield Botanical Gardens, July 2006 - © Meg Jullien

Group photograph with the Gardeners’ World team and the Road Show bus, Mary Bagley, Director of Parks and Countryside at Sheffield City Council (2nd right), Deputy Leader of the Sheffield City Council, Councillor Steve Jones (centre), & Joe Rowntree Gardens Curator (3rd left).

Jazz in the Gardens, 5th and 6th July, 2006

This event, organised by The Rotary Club of Sheffield and featuring the Dizzy Club, was an overwhelming success, attracting around 3,500 people with their picnics to the Gardens on two lovely summer evenings. There was a licensed bar and refreshments included a chocolate fountain, crepes, hot Caribbean curry and other exotic dishes. Dancing to the band with the backdrop of the floodlit pavilions was a memorable experience and the event was enjoyed by young and old.

Jazz evening at the Botanical Gardens - © Graham Wright & Nick Tudor Jazz evening at the Botanical Gardens - © Graham Wright & Nick Tudor

The event raised over £10,000 for the Macmillan Cancer Fund, the Sheffield Botanical Gardens Trust and other Rotary Charities. David Pollard, President of the Rotary Club said “We got the distinct impression, from talking to many of those who attended, that this type of event in Sheffield has been awaited a long time, and now that it's here, it must remain!” Next year’s event will be held at the Gardens on the 11th and 12th July 2007.

Heartbreak Theatre productions, summer 2006

Action from Heartbreak Theatre's production of The Railway Children at the Sheffield Botanical Gardens in June 
	2006 - © Meg Jullien

Heartbreak Theatre returned to the Gardens for the sixth year with Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (14th to 17th June), “The Railway Children” by E.E. Nesbit (21st to 25th June) and “The Importance of being Earnest” by Oscar Wilde (28th June to 2nd July). The summer weather was kind for the most part and hundreds of people enjoyed the warm summer evenings with their picnics on the South Lawns.
“Romeo and Juliet” set in a hot steamy Veronese piazza was superb entertainment and the actors gave their usual excellent performances. The unusual choice of “The Railway Children” was extremely well staged, and enthralled the many children in the audiences, feeding their imagination. “The Importance of being Earnest”, staged in July 1939 displayed the” gallery of outrageous characters caught up in their bubble of frivolity blissfully unaware of the worldwide horrors about to unfold”. A most successful season for the company with the Gardens as the perfect setting.

New Living Spaces in the Long Border in 2006

Generous support from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, in the form of a Living Spaces Award, has enabled the Friends of the Botanical Gardens to renovate and rejuvenate a long-neglected area of the Gardens, not included in the recently completed, restoration plan. The Long Border, which runs most of the way along the west and south boundary wall of the Gardens, had received very little attention over many years, and was a mess of overgrown shrub and weed growth. After major clearing and replanting, collections of North and South American plants are being established here, as these geographical areas are not well represented in the Gardens.



Restoration Partnership: Sheffield Town Trust |  Sheffield City Council |  University of Sheffield  
Friends of the Botanical Gardens |  Sheffield Botanical Gardens Trust  

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This page updated on 16 April 2015. This site updated on 19 November 2012.