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Evidence, action, inspiration – how nature-based solutions help combat the climate emergency

This week (7th-13th October 2019) is Scotland’s Climate Week, which this year comes at a decisive time for our planet, its people and its biodiversity. As UN Secretary-General…

Fruit and foliage

The start of the leaf colour season. Stresses show up as early autumn colour. Where plants grow is soils of poor nutrient status or moisture deficit these are…

The final cut

As we dig deeper into autumn thoughts of the last mow of the lawn come to mind. This is the time to raise the height on the mower….

Why I love Volunteering for Microsculpture & Talking About Insect Vision

As a life-long lover of insects, I jumped at the opportunity to volunteer at the Microsulpture exhibition at the Inverleith House Gallery at the Botanics .  I had…

Silk threads but not from a Mulberry

The flowers of Dianthus superbus var. longicalycinus are delicate in composition, resembling silk threads. The plant is a short lived perennial sending flower stalks up to 180mm. These…

August 2019 Garden Wildlife Report

Summer 2019 seems to have been following a pattern, for August 2019, like July, was a month when both sunshine (201.7 hours, 179% of average) and rainfall (140.8…

The scent of Onions

The disadvantage of Tulbaghia violacea is the ever present smell of onions lingering around the planting. This gets worse in wet weather, the force of raindrops bruising the…

July 2019 Garden Wildlife Report

July 2019 has been described as the warmest globally on record. It was also a warm month at the Botanics, due in part to an intense heatwave in…

A frosty reception

The real detail of Inula hookeri is the unfurling flower bud. A late flowering gem of Himalayan vegetation it resembles a swirl of frosted ice with the yellow…

Yew trees, the Canaries and a Darwinian Connection in a Perthshire Churchyard

The kirkyard at Fortingall in Perthshire has, for several centuries, been a magnet for tourists with an arboricultural bent – for the sake of its ancient yew. This…

RBGE’s World War Two Memorial

Situated beneath the Memorial to the members of staff at RBGE who gave their lives during the First World War is a smaller, but no less poignant memorial…

From Indonesia to Edinburgh – An orchids story

In a cloud forest on the Indonesian island of Seram an orchid was collected during an expedition led by the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh in 1986. The living…

The first fallers – signs of autumn

The Gentians are flowering, the first apples have fallen and beneath the mass of foliage Nasturtium seed pods are to be found. All coinciding with the end of…

A wide, brownish river with white-crested waves on the surface, flanked by dense green forest

Amazon fires; RBGE action

The current, unprecedented scale of fire in the Amazon, the largest area of tropical rainforest in the world, a biodiversity hotspot, and a crucial resource in the fight…

A Desperate Escape – George Forrest on the run in China, July 1905

Some of us may be lucky, or in this case, unlucky enough to experience a life altering event that comes to define us whether we want it to…

The Importance of Rain Gardens in a Changing Climate

In the past few years at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) we have experienced changing weather patterns that reflect how climate change will affect Scotland in the…

Edinburgh potato faces late blight

A new twist in the story of the Edinburgh potato (Solanum xedinense) could be the most interesting yet. Late blight (Phytophthora infestans) symptoms were found on many of…

Aromatic foliage

Drimys andina is a compact evergreen shrub native to Chile and Argentina. It is currently producing clusters of white petalled flowers at the end of the current season’s…

No sting nettle

A childhood dream; a nettle patch you can fall into and emerge unscathed from. Growing in the south facing glasshouse border is a planting of Boehmeria ticuspis var….

Downward facing flowers; a benefit this wet season

The shepherds crook bend on the flower stalk of Cirsium purpuratum ensure the densely packed mass of flower parts are dry and attractive to bees who have no…