This news comes at a very exciting time for the Gardens. Welcoming more than 110,000 visitors yearly, their 6-strong gardening team maintains 15 acres of beautiful Grade 2* listed gardens, while simultaneously conserving the 7,000 plants grown across the 15-acre site, attracting national recognition. The Gardens recently won an RHS Gold Medal for an exhibit of cyclamen drawn from their National Collection, one of only two in the country, and achieved a commendation for their nomination in the Horticulture Week Custodian Awards for ‘Best Garden’.
As an independent educational charity, the Gardens rely on their 5,000 members, friends, visitors and events to generate the funds required for the upkeep. Moreover, they also rely on the invaluable efforts of volunteers to help with the huge amount of work that goes into attending shows and caring for this iconic heritage landmark. As one of only two pre-Victorian Botanic Gardens that remain independent in the UK, this unique city space now welcomes David and his invaluable knowledge and experience in the industry to a new partnership that will raise awareness of the Gardens and assist them in continuing with these initiatives.
James Wheeler, CEO at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, commented: ‘We are delighted to announce that David Domoney is the brand new patron of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. His passion for community gardening and helping schools engage with the environment around them matches our own and we are very excited about the potential opportunities and projects we can work on in the future together with this in mind.’’
He continued: “We look forward to sharing our plans for the future with David, drawing on his expertise and advice as a prominent and renowned figure within the gardening community. With his huge following online, we know David will be an influential ally for the Gardens in helping to raise the profile of our valuable work.’’
Trustee and Chairman of the Gardens’ Horticultural Committee Vic Aspland, commented, “ I am pleased to welcome David as our Patron, as he is as passionate about plants as we are. His expertise will be invaluable for opening up new initiatives by the Gardens.”
David Domoney is a distinguished and multi-award winning horticulturist, with 30 Royal Horticultural Society Medals and awards under his belt. He has a long association with the Midlands, having gone to school at Moseley and having grown up in Hall Green; he lives now with his family in Stratford Upon Avon. Alongside presenting on ITV1, he also writes a weekly column for The Sunday Mirror and a monthly column for Grow Your Own magazine in which he encourages the nation into gardening. David is a strong advocate of community gardening and champions this through his national community gardening campaign Cultivation Street (now in its 6th year), which helps Britain’s communities and schools to engage with nature. David also organises The Young Gardeners of the Year competition (now in its 9th year), in association with HRH the Prince of Wales Prince’s Foundation. This April David Domoney was also selected by HRH Prince Edward to receive the Prince Edward Award of Excellence in Horticulture.
David said, “There’s something truly magical about Birmingham Botanical Gardens. I visited them on school trips as a kid, so I have known their beauty for some time. The huge array of plant life on display is always a sight to behold and wandering through the different zones offers the perfect escape from the stresses of hectic day-to-day life. It is thus with great pleasure that I join with the team at Birmingham Botanical Gardens in support of this incredible heritage site. The educational programme they have in place for schools in the region is particularly excellent and bears an affinity to my Cultivation Street campaign, making us a great pairing. As someone who lives locally to Birmingham, the upkeep of these gardens is particularly close to my heart and it’s a real honour to work with James and his highly-skilled team.”
David and the Gardens are now working together to develop community learning and organise events, while promoting each other’s initiatives and projects regularly in the future.