Learning from observing plants in their natural habitats
These tours have been organised specifically to back up the lectures at The Plant School and students from the courses will get preferential places.
Throughout the tours the students are accompanied by expert horticulturists or botanists. Students study the natural habitats of plants in temperate climates and develop an understanding of the conditions the plants have evolved in. This leads to a better insight into growing plants in their own gardens.
In January 2014 Elsa Pooley, one of our top botanists, ably assisted by Rosemary took a keen group of Plant School students round the Drakensberg and Lesotho region of South Africa. Over 400 plant species were seen and recorded. It was voted the best tour yet. Students also returned to Rome and the surrounding region in April 2014. In April 2015 the Plant School tours completed a very successful tour to Crete. More recently successful tours to Crete have been completed in 2016, 2017 and 2018. This year a group of students returned to the Drakensberg region of South Africa where the number of different species recorded exceeded those seen on the previous visit. Many of these species we are able to grow back here in England. A tour to South America to see indigenous plants growing in the wild is in the early stages of planning and a date has not yet been confirmed.
The first Florence Days for Plants, Gardens and History (Thursday 26th April to Sunday 29th April 2018 with the group concentrating on the genus Rosa ) were a great success. This was followed this year by the second of the three years looking at the genus Iris in plant collections, private gardens and paintings including entrance to the Uffizi Gallery. Next year the genus to be observed will be Viola.