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Starting a Botanic Garden

The most useful thing you might do if you are considering starting a botanic garden is to contact BGCI. We have all the neccessary resources needed to help you get started and our staff have a lot of experience relevant to the creation of new gardens. We have been involved in the planning in large numbers of new botanic gardens over the last 20 years including being consultants for the new Botanic Garden of Oman.

The other very important thing to do when starting a garden is to sign up to all the relevant conservation treaties and organisations such as the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation. This will give your garden a solid basis of support and mean it is regarded in a much higher esteem.

Planning provides the foundation for botanic gardens management and future success. Strategic plans, institutional policies and business plans ensure that the garden has a clear vision, mission and realistic targets. As part of this process, priorities need to be defined, resources identified and weaknesses addressed so as to assist in achieving the garden’s mission.

A mission statement is one of the key things to develop for a new botanic garden. It is a short statement of what you intend the main basis of your garden to be, from a purely scientific research garden, a conservation resource or mainly a pleasant space for visitors. This mission statement will be behind everything you do and underpins the development of your garden. Help on writing a mission statement can be found here.

10 steps to successful sponsorship for botanic gardens is a good resource, outlining key considerations for seeking sponsorship.

Case Studies

The development of feasibility studies for the creation of new botanic gardens

Plant Collections Policy (PDF 1MB)

Conservation Principles at the North Carolina Botanic Garden (Word doc 36kb)

Sample Feasibility Study (Word doc 54kb)

Logo Design: An example from a botanic garden


What Does BGCI Do?

BGCI represents over 700 members - mostly botanic gardens - in more than 120 countries. We aim to support and empower our members and the wider conservation community so that their knowledge and expertise can be applied to reversing the threat of extinction facing one third of all plants.


Botanic Garden Resource Pack

Institution members of BGCI receive many benefits of membership, including the Botanic Gardens Management Resource Pack. Consisting of a range of useful materials from the Darwin Technical Manual to BG Recorder plant data logging software, it's a key set of tools for new or established gardens



Find Out More

Starting a Herbarium
This website is for 'amateur scientists', with lots of info on how to do science with ordinary, simple materials, but to a high standard. In this page, you can find out how to collect and store plants and it's useful to anyone who wants to start a new herbarium.

The Eden Project on green tv
This is a trailer for the Eden Project's 'Gardening of Eden' DVD which follows the transformation of a sterile china clay pit into the Eden Project -- the world's largest greenhouse.

How to be a Gardener
This online course, prepared by the BBC in collaboration with the Royal Horticultural Society, is for anyone wanting to learn the basics of gardening. Although it's designed for home gardeners, a lot of the design advice and hints will be relevant to botanic gardens and of course, for educators.

Join BGCI in Protecting Plants for the Planet
BGCI is a membership organisation. We have more than 700 members, institutional and individual, in 118 countries. You too can join us in our global efforts to ensure plants are protected from the many threats facing them today and get some great benefits.
International Agenda for Botanic Gardens in Conservation
The International Agenda is a global policy framework for botanic gardens worldwide to contribute to biodiversity conservation. Find out more about how botanic gardens are contributing here.