Birmingham Botanical Garden & Glasshouses
The Birmingham Botanical Gardens & Glasshouses is a major botanical centre in the middle of Birmingham, established for 175 years and including 15 acres of mature gardens, tropical and sub tropical glasshouses with humid and arid environments and aviaries housing a collection of exotic birds. The Gardens also houses the National Bonsai collection. The Japanese garden is an "L" shaped courtyard garden (tsubo-niwa) between the Tropical House, Function Rooms and Bonsai Collection, which is a busy thoroughfare. The garden was designed by Graham Hardman and built by members of the Japanese Garden Society working alongside the resident garden staff. Much of the garden is made up of the large winding paths. It has a dry stream with waterfall, bubbling boulder (symbolising a volcano) and slate paddle-stones defining the watercourse (gorge) to one side of the path with a slab-bridge incorporated into the path, emerging on the other side as a broader stream and lake. A beautifully pruned Acer Dissectum stands below the large round viewing window with a lantern and basin arrangement adjacent. This section contains the black bamboo - Phyllostachys nigra, the sacred bamboo - Nandina Domestica, a number of rocks and smaller shrubs. By the lakeside there is a hill, surmounted by a substantial cloud cut pine surrounded by mound pruned azaleas and box and a golden bamboo softening the side of the building and its gateway into the Bonsai courtyard. The other leg of the "L" is dominated by a pre-existing Magnolia and colourful Camellia whilst the opposite side of the pathway is a strong massive rock arrangement of well-rounded specimen gneiss. In a corner is a Sukiya arbour for viewing the garden and in keeping with Japanese tradition the views of the garden are framed by wall capping. The entrance to the Bonsai collection has a covered roof to protect the massive iron gates and the Georgian windows of the Loudon Suite have been disguised with the addition of some translucent figure-work screens, all of which have been designed and built by Jade Pavilions.
Venture further into the garden to the Lawn Aviaries where you will experience the exotic birdhouses, including an African Mud Hut and Appalachian Log Cabin, both designed and built by Jade Pavilions.