Until relatively recently, visiting gardens was a spring, summer and early autumn activity. Many, if not most gardens, closed in November and then reopened in March. Some would open for Christmas events or special plant events such as snowdrop tours. Horticulturists would often use the winter closure for big projects or overhauling plantings. However, a combination of visitor demand, milder winters and more ambitious event programming has led to more gardens opening all year round.
This webinar looks at the impact of opening gardens all year round and what this means for the garden – the infrastructure, planting, and role of the horticulturist as well as consequences for additional support (catering, cleaning etc.). We hear from four speakers about their perspectives as well as what this might mean in the future, post-COVID-19.
With presentations from:
- Dr Joanne Connell, Senior Lecture in Tourism Management at the University of Exeter, who has been investigating the seasonality of tourist attractions and what this might mean for public gardens.
- Stephen Herrington, Head Gardener at The Newt in Somerset, about winter events and the infrastructure needed to support them as well as the important role they play in making the garden accessible to different visitors.
- Simon Toomer, Plant Conservation Specialist at the National Trust, who introduces the impact of COVID-19 on seasonal visiting at the National Trust.
- Pam Smith, Gardens and Parks Consultant at the National Trust, about the wider implications of seasonal visitors and how this offers for different use of the garden across the seasons.
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