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The Urban Kingfisher

One of our wildlife recorders, Lucy Cooke, gives you tips on how to spot kingfishers in the city centre!
Paeonia lutea

Folded foliage and weighty limbs

Following the prolonged dry period, the rain that we are experiencing now is a welcome shock to plants. The Paeonia lutea reacted to the additional weight of this...
Clematis campaniflora

Two Clematis

In an open aspect to the south of the rock garden two Clematis are flowering. Clematis ternifolia, a vigorous grower with lightly scented white star like flowers bearing...
Campanula incurva

Botanical campanology

Campanula incurva found growing in the rock garden and producing a mass of large inflated upturned bell shaped white flowers, the texture resembling parchment paper, all from a...
Crocosmia masoniorum

The hot end of the border

The herbaceous border has a group of plants throwing out hot colours. Revelling in the long hot, dry days, this is peak Monarda season. Complementing the Monarda ‘Jacob...

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January

Overnight Freeze

The overnight freeze left a myriad of ice crystals covering the garden this morning. The coldest day yet this year at -3.1 °C. These during and after images of...
Galanthus nivalis 'Sandersii'

Ten years of seasonal plants of interest – 12 that flower or colour reliably year on year.

A lot of plants have caught my eye during the past decade while compiling a weekly profile on a seasonal plant of interest. Below are the consistently reliable...
Ivy smothering Viburnum

Rampant Ivy

Two images, Ivy, Hedera helix covering both plants. The pine trunks are sturdy and it will take several seasons to smother these. The Viburnum is different, colonised at...
Glaucium flavum

Save a seed pod

The long arching seed pods of Glaucium flavum are splitting lengthways into longitudinal sections. The seeds long gone, now just sections of the pithy packaging remain within. Found...
Lonicera myrtillus

Fresh and golden start to the year

During the short days it is good to have flowering plants in the garden; Lonicera myrtillus is a low growing deciduous shrub. The fresh yellow tubular flowers hang...

See more from January …

February

Galanthus nivalis 'Sandersii'

Ten years of seasonal plants of interest – 12 that flower or colour reliably year on year.

A lot of plants have caught my eye during the past decade while compiling a weekly profile on a seasonal plant of interest. Below are the consistently reliable...
Bergenia pacifica

Flowering succession

A good selection of young plants of Bergenia pacifica from a sowing in 2015 are flowering for the first time in the nursery. From the attached image can...
Muscari azureum

Spring bulb season

Muscari azureum has sent up its instantly recognisable inverted cone of azure blue flowers. Native to Turkey this is a bulb that appreciates good drainage and a sunny...
Viburnum x bodnantense 'Charles Lamont'

Flash frost

The forecast last night was for an overnight frost that would clear quickly. How right the forecast was, bright sunshine soon warmed the ice crystals with damaging consequences...
Rhododendron dauricum

A Japanese Rhododendron

Rhododendron dauricum, in flower since mid-January. A good show of purple flowers on this native to east and north Asia, the seed from which this plant grew was...

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March

Rhododendron siderophyllum

Rhododendron siderophyllum

Look out for Rhododendron siderophyllum planted at the bottom of the Chinese hillside.  A small plant with evergreen leaves that give off an aromatic smell when touched or...

Central Asian Juno Iris

A first flowering at RBGE for Iris zaprjagajewii one of the dwarf Juno Iris. Collected by members of the alpine and rock garden team on an expedition to...
Rhododendron hunnewellianum ssp. hunewellianum

Colour in the Rhododendron collection

A fine specimen is Rhododendron hunnewellianum, planted by the laundry building near Inverleith House.  Best seen from the pathway and lawn nearby as it is a top heavy...
Prunus cerasifera 'Diversifolia'

The purple plum

Flowering in many gardens is Prunus cerasifera or one of its many forms. A welcome reminder that spring is arriving. A native to the Caucasus and now found...
Galanthus nivalis 'Sandersii'

Ten years of seasonal plants of interest – 12 that flower or colour reliably year on year.

A lot of plants have caught my eye during the past decade while compiling a weekly profile on a seasonal plant of interest. Below are the consistently reliable...
Primula allionii

Alpine extravaganza

Primula allionii seen in pots in the traditional alpine house and colonising the tufa wall in the modern structure too. Also worth a mention is Saxifraga dinnikii alba....
Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. grandiflorum

Keep your eye on the alpine display

Amongst the array of fine spring flowering bulbs in the alpine house is a pot of Erythronium grandiflorum ssp. grandiflorum. A native of western North America found growing...
Phlomis fruticosa

Birds need bits

Think remnants as you get out into the garden to tidy up now the days are longer. Birds are looking about for pieces of vegetation to use as...
Arabis purpurea

Showy gem on the alpine wall

Arabis purpurea is a mat forming evergreen of loose habit. Interestingly the seed was collected from a plant growing on a dark shady dry bank in Cyprus. Here,...
Paeony emerging

First sprouts of spring

Plants are sending out growth as we approach spring. This is the last opportunity to complete any formative pruning. Take the opportunity to manage your plant collection and...

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April

Osmunda regalis

Coming of age for old fibre

A huge mass of Osmunda regalis has been dug out on its eighteenth anniversary, see attached image. A mass of fibrous root is a characteristic of this terrestrial...
Acacia verticillata

Prickly phyllodes

Acacia verticillata in flower on the front glasshouse border. A mass of mini citrus yellow bottle brushes. The flowers are a mass of densely packed stamens. The sharp...
Pulsatilla turczaninovii

Mountain Pulsatilla

Pulsatilla turczaninovii, a plant from  seed collected on the Russian Altay where it grew on the banks of the River Bashkaus. Sown and grown and now flowering on...
Magnolia sprengeri var. elongata

The genus Magnolia

A selection of the Magnolia species and cultivars are in full flower at RBGE. These magnificent trees are at their best when the sun shines and the air...
Galanthus nivalis 'Sandersii'

Ten years of seasonal plants of interest – 12 that flower or colour reliably year on year.

A lot of plants have caught my eye during the past decade while compiling a weekly profile on a seasonal plant of interest. Below are the consistently reliable...

See more from April …

May

Ailanthus giraldii

Ailanthus giraldii

The young growth as bud burst occurs is an intense red. The foliage is divided and this enhances the visual appeal of the emerging new growth. A large...
Galanthus nivalis 'Sandersii'

Ten years of seasonal plants of interest – 12 that flower or colour reliably year on year.

A lot of plants have caught my eye during the past decade while compiling a weekly profile on a seasonal plant of interest. Below are the consistently reliable...
Rhododendron luteum

Azalea season

The Azalea collection is blooming. One of the best on the bank is Rhododendron luteum, reliable to flower, full of mid yellow blooms and the scent drifting through...

Malus in May

Growing in the nursery is a fine, sturdy young specimen of Malus sieversii. A native to Central Asia and known to be the wild apple that apple breeding...
Anemone ranunculoides 'Pleniflora'

Double vision in bright fresh yellow

Anemone ranunculoides a spring flowering native that carpets open woodland. The long spindly stems arise from delicate rhizomes that colonise moist organic soil. Atop these spindly stems are...
Anemone ranunculoides 'Pleniflora'

Double vision in bright fresh yellow

Anemone ranunculoides a spring flowering native that carpets open woodland. The long spindly stems arise from delicate rhizomes that colonise moist organic soil. Atop these spindly stems are...
Camassia leichtlinii ssp. suksdorfii

A stunning bulbous perennial

Camassia leichtlinii ssp. suksdorfii has long linear leaves as you would expect from a member of the Agavaceae family. This is a stunning perennial that repays planting space...
Hydrangea sargentiana

Hardened off, ready to plant

The second half of May and we hope the frost is finished for the season. Make sure all half hardy and tender perennial stock you are planting out...
Viola spathulata

Taking to tufa

The strap leaved Viola spathulata is thriving in the tufa wall that forms the backdrop to the alpine shelter here at RBGE. A native to cliff faces in...
Acer davidii ssp. grosseri

Subtle features

Amid the seasonal blossom and mass flowering of spring are interspersed subtle touches. Often unnoticed, these all add to the interest of the garden in spring. Acer davidii...

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June

Galanthus nivalis 'Sandersii'

Ten years of seasonal plants of interest – 12 that flower or colour reliably year on year.

A lot of plants have caught my eye during the past decade while compiling a weekly profile on a seasonal plant of interest. Below are the consistently reliable...
Weigela decora

Raspberry ripple

Weigela decora collected in Japan from an area of dense mixed forest containing Cryptomeria japonica and Stachyurus praecox, these were huge parent plants spreading and reaching 4m x...
Geranium macrorrhizum 'Album' and Ranunculus bulbosus (Bulbous buttercup)

Unintended consequences

You study diligently, you consult books, you visit other gardens for ideas on colour and combination then a rampaging Ranunculus invades your border and the most appealing floral...

A Rose by any other name

The Genus is just the start. As plants are collected in the field they arrive back at the Botanics with collectors notes; some detailed, some not so. These...
Heliamthemum nummularium ssp. tomentosum

Perfect for a sun drenched corner

The sun filled days we have been experiencing have brought out the flowers on Helianthemum nummularium ssp. tomentosum to perfection. This subspecies is native to Italy, collected on...

See more from June …

July

Crocosmia masoniorum

The hot end of the border

The herbaceous border has a group of plants throwing out hot colours. Revelling in the long hot, dry days, this is peak Monarda season. Complementing the Monarda ‘Jacob...
Galanthus nivalis 'Sandersii'

Ten years of seasonal plants of interest – 12 that flower or colour reliably year on year.

A lot of plants have caught my eye during the past decade while compiling a weekly profile on a seasonal plant of interest. Below are the consistently reliable...
Watsonia x longifolia

Elegance

Baking in the heat on a raised terrace with flower spikes hitting two plus metres in height this Watsonia x longifolia is an elegant sight. It can be...
Helichrysum aucheri

Sun lover

Helichrysum aucheri is in flower on the scree. Papery flower heads on 150mm stems. Collected in Turkey but native to greater Arabia. Grown in well drained soil and...

Set in soil at your own risk

A collection from China is growing opposite the pond lawn. Cacalia aff. delphiniifolia (aff. means ‘akin to’ used in plant nomenclature) loves an area of bare soil within...

See more from July …

August

Paeonia lutea

Folded foliage and weighty limbs

Following the prolonged dry period, the rain that we are experiencing now is a welcome shock to plants. The Paeonia lutea reacted to the additional weight of this...
Clematis campaniflora

Two Clematis

In an open aspect to the south of the rock garden two Clematis are flowering. Clematis ternifolia, a vigorous grower with lightly scented white star like flowers bearing...
Campanula incurva

Botanical campanology

Campanula incurva found growing in the rock garden and producing a mass of large inflated upturned bell shaped white flowers, the texture resembling parchment paper, all from a...
Galanthus nivalis 'Sandersii'

Ten years of seasonal plants of interest – 12 that flower or colour reliably year on year.

A lot of plants have caught my eye during the past decade while compiling a weekly profile on a seasonal plant of interest. Below are the consistently reliable...
Fuchsia magellanica seedling

Mortar magic

Fuchsia magellanica produces sweet, juicy fruits containing multiple seed. These are often dispersed by birds that are partial to the fruit. From subsequent droppings chance seedlings are occasionally...

See more from August …

September

Galanthus nivalis 'Sandersii'

Ten years of seasonal plants of interest – 12 that flower or colour reliably year on year.

A lot of plants have caught my eye during the past decade while compiling a weekly profile on a seasonal plant of interest. Below are the consistently reliable...
Weigela coraeensis var. fragrans

Prune it

During the first growing season a newly planted shrub will establish; needing light, water and nutrient. Subsequent seasons will see good growth and the plant thriving. This newly...
Salvia corrugata

Two blue Salvias

Two South American Labiates that are set to brighten the borders for autumn are the sturdy and felty Salvia corrugata and the more spindly S. meyeri. Both with...
Impatiens tinctoria

A tall growing succulent

Impatiens tinctoria; from tropical east Africa to the glasshouse border and growing a stately three metres tall. The tall succulent or watery stems are sent up annually from...
Acer saccharum

Boundary best

With the sun shining on the canopy of Acer saccharum we are reminded that the autumn equinox passed and the day length is now shorter than the hours...
Apprentices potager Sept 201

Chard

A nutritious and versatile vegetable, also well suited to the decorative border. From a packet of seed and an April sowing the seedlings of Chard ‘Bright Lights’ have...
X Amarygia parkeri

A bigeneric hybrid

X Amarygia parkeri is a bigeneric hybrid of garden origin. The result of a cross between two South African genera; Amaryllis belladonna x Brunsvigia josephinae. The flower stem...
Mimulus aurantiacus

High chaparral

In flower just now is a plant of the Californian chaparral; a shrub land plant community evolving through mild wet winters and hot dry summers. These areas are...
Vaccinium arctostaphylos

Selected for autumn colour

Vaccinium arctostaphylos, a deciduous shrub showing full autumn colour. All foliage shines with the vibrancy of this single deep red colour that is attracting so much attention. Amongst...
Onopordum cyprium

Watched over by scavenging vultures

                  Even on holiday many RBGE staff are on the lookout for interesting plants. On a trip to Cyprus one...

See more from September …

October

Galanthus nivalis 'Sandersii'

Ten years of seasonal plants of interest – 12 that flower or colour reliably year on year.

A lot of plants have caught my eye during the past decade while compiling a weekly profile on a seasonal plant of interest. Below are the consistently reliable...
Chaenorhinum origanifolium

Growing on the tufa scree with roots into a well-drained substrate is Chaenorhinum origanifolium. This perennial from Southern Europe is flowering well into autumn from a summer start....
Clematis akebioides

Clematis

The Clematis akebioides growing at the east gate lodge is covered in flower. The buds are held on long stalks setting the flower out from the straggly stems....
Tricyrtis formosana

Triangular Tricyrtis

This week sees a second member of the genus Tricyrtis in flower. T. formosana, this species standing tall and making a show in the peat walls. A profusion...
Tricyrtis macrantha

Pendulous Tricyrtis

Tricyrtis macrantha has the largest flowers of the genus; pendulous yellow tepals are stunning when shown well against the foliage. It is the inner corolla that adds interest,...

See more from October …

November

Galanthus nivalis 'Sandersii'

Ten years of seasonal plants of interest – 12 that flower or colour reliably year on year.

A lot of plants have caught my eye during the past decade while compiling a weekly profile on a seasonal plant of interest. Below are the consistently reliable...
Acer pensylvanicum

Snake bark maple

Now that the foliage is clearing from the deciduous canopies the full beauty of the trunk of Acer pensylvanicum is revealed. This seedling is now eight years old;...
Sorbus harrowiana

Fermenting apples

Sorbus harrowiana is not the best specimen for displaying ornamental fruit but it does have a related back story. It is native to SW China where, as can...
Rhus typhina ‘Laciniata’

Last vestige of autumn colour

Wrap up warmly and take the opportunity to appreciate the remainder of the autumn colour on the deciduous trees. The colder nights see the leaves dropping as the...
Styrax officinalis

Styrax fruits

One of the Styrax officinalis plants growing at the west gate has produced several fruits. These hang elegantly from the previous season’s growth. The fruits resemble a grey...

See more from November …

December

Galanthus nivalis 'Sandersii'

Ten years of seasonal plants of interest – 12 that flower or colour reliably year on year.

A lot of plants have caught my eye during the past decade while compiling a weekly profile on a seasonal plant of interest. Below are the consistently reliable...
Geranium maderense

Review of the year 2016

January 2016 dawned with a frost, only – 0.4°c, but still a frost. This, following the wettest month for more than a century. December 2015 was also the...
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Lilacina'

The browns have it

As a base layer, the colour brown dominates at this time of year. Ideal as a foundation layer to the glitz of Christmas. Stephanandra tanakae has fine warmth...
Alyssoides utriculata

Disintegrating seed pods

Sitting in an exposed site within the rock garden are plants of Alyssoides utriculata. This short lived woody perennial has seed capsules that resemble bladders. It is found...
Euonymus sieboldianus (20031043)

Distinctly different

Two Euonymus sieboldianus are planted side by side in the Garden arising from two different collecting expeditions. They are deciduous branched shrubs covered in fruit; each plant having...

See more from December …