Blooming predicament for University of Leicester Botanic Garden

Posted by ap507 at Feb 23, 2016 10:20 AM |
Spring flowers bloom weeks before showcase events for Crocus Sundays

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 23 February 2016

PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES: Media are welcome to film/photograph at the Botanic Garden, entrance Glebe Road, Oadby, between 10am – 4pm on 28 Feb and 6 March

Media can also arrange to photograph the crocuses which have flowered weeks in advance – please do so by arrangement by emailing

Photograph to download: Evie Bradford from Sileby discovers a hidden trove of crocuses ready to bloom in the University of Leicester Botanic Garden (credit: Crysta Campbell, University of Leicester):

For the first time, organisers of a public event to celebrate the first flowers of spring have been left with a predicament – the flowers have bloomed weeks before the event and may be largely over by the time the public showcase for Crocus Sundays is held!

The success of previous Crocus Weekends at the University of Leicester Botanic Garden had led to it becoming an annual fixture in the Garden calendar at the end of February.

This year, on Sundays 28 February and 6 March, the Friends of the University’s Botanic Garden has organised a display of flowers as well as refreshments in the 16-acre picturesque garden in Oadby. 

One of the first flowers to bloom in spring, the crocuses put on a spectacular display throughout the Sandstone Garden in front of Beaumont Hall. 

However- this has occurred weeks before the planned event.

Richard Gornall, Director of the Garden, said: “This is a remarkably early flowering for this species of Crocus and shows that the unusually warm weather is clearly having an effect here in the Botanic Garden, just as it seems to be doing across the whole country, as evidenced by the results of the BSBI’s New Year Plant Hunt.

“Our crocuses are blooming at least two weeks early this year. This means that our two special Crocus Sundays (28th Feb & 6th March), when we invite visitors to see the magnificent display of these flowers at the Botanic Garden, will not quite be as planned because the displays will largely have gone over! Nevertheless there will still be a good display of spring colour in the Alpine House and in other places around the Garden. Refreshments will still be on offer as will a selection of alpine plant stalls.”

Continuing with its tradition to support local charities, entrance to the Garden is by donation to the Leicestershire & Rutland Wildlife Trust.

The University’s Biology Department will also put on an exhibition in Beaumont Hall about research on crocuses with tea, coffee and home-made cakes being served. Visitors can also buy plants from local specialist nurseries.

On March 6, visitors will also have the opportunity to see an interactive exhibition of drawings by local children of £100 notes. One hundred of the children’s designs have been chosen for a special display, and six notes have been printed in quantity, to show what a million pounds looks like. The bank notes are part of a project based at the University of Leicester to help local children see how our number system is built on tens, hundreds and thousands.

  • Crocus Sundays take place this year on 28 February and 6 March 2016 between 10am-4pm. Please come to the Glebe Road entrance (LE2 2LD) where you will be welcomed and shown where to go by Friends of the Garden.

For more information, please contact Botanic Garden at or visit their website


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