Just outside the city centre Sheffield Botanical Gardens were opened in 1836 and now cover 19 acres on a south-west sloping site. The Gardens are listed by Historic England as a Grade II site of special historic interest.

With the rain pouring down in the background, Ian Turner, Curator of Sheffield Botanical Gardens was joined by the BBC’s Peter Gibbs and his team for a correspondence edition of Gardener’s Question Time.

Ian Turner and Peter Gibbs in the bear-pit

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Ian joined the panel of four along with some of gardening’s biggest names; trained horticulturist and gardening broadcaster and writer, Anne Swithinbank, king of the allotment radio and TV presenter, Bob Flowerdew and passionate plantsman, writer and radio personality, Matthew Biggs

During this edition Ian talks about the famous bear who resides in what is one of the oldest remaining bear pits in the world, and explains how in the 1830s the site was combined as a zoo and gardens with bears last being seen there in the 1850’s.

Questions sent in from listeners to Gardeners Question Time ranged from how to deal with a boggy back garden and harvesting rhubarb to how to cut back a Swiss cheese plant and many topics in between.

Ian highlighted some of the features of the gardens including the oldest trees in the gardens on the main lawns and the trials of tender plants in the Mediterranean Climate Garden.