I'm not very green fingered (I have accidentally killed a few cacti, it's true) but luckily we have a number of expert botanists here at the World Museum! This week they got together with staff from the horticulture and botanical team of Liverpool City Council Parks and Greenspaces to create a lovely display in the atrium of the museum.
Here is Donna Young, our Botany Collections Manager, to tell us more about the display:
"Plants inspire and sustain us - we depend on them for our food, clothing, shelter, medicine and even the air that we breathe! Liverpool has always had a special relationship with plants and has some of the finest parks and gardens in the world.
The plants in the display are from all over the world and are from Liverpool’s famous living collection which dates back to the opening of the city’s first botanical garden in 1803. Through the 19th century, the garden’s unrivalled collection grew. Plant collectors, exploring new lands, brought back plants of great economic and scientific value. Plants were also sent around the world, including plants for the imperial gardens in Russia.
Many of the plants were preserved as dried specimens for scientific research and now form part of World Museum’s natural history collection. There have been many ups and downs in the history of the living collection. It closed to the public in the 1980s when greenhouses fell into disrepair – but the plants lived on. You can now see some of these plants in Sefton Park’s Palm House and at Croxteth Park."
We are also gearing up for the opening of our massive science exhibition, 'Plantastic!', which will come to life on 13 February 2010. The exhibition will have 40 fascinating interactive exhibits and games, which will help to uncover the secrets of the amazing world of plants.
You will be able to enter a magical realm with giant leafy canopies, massive seed pods, huge root systems and strange man-made trees. There will be areas where you can relax and be inspired by nature or find out more about topical issues and their effects on plants such as biodiversity and climate change.
So look out for the exhibition next month and come along to have a Plantastic time!