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#plantrainbow – Primrose

The primrose, Primula vulgaris, is one of the most evocative and widely-known heralds of spring. If you are lucky enough to know a wild place where this beautiful…

Sunshine for you!

In early spring, even the smallest bloom is a cause for celebration. Narcissus also known as Daffodils are always the first to arrive in our gardens and what…

The mown lawn adding to the living environment within the garden

The regularly mown lawn is a worthy garden feature with borders chock full of plants and hedges in a garden a wildlife retreat is formed. A landing strip…

Botanic Cottage Cook Club March 2020

Once a fortnight we hold a cook club at the Botanic Cottage. Anyone is welcome to join us to learn new cooking skills and to enjoy a healthy meal that’s been freshly prepared by the group. Sadly, the garden is now closed to the public during the Covid-19 pandemic, but we won’t let that stop us! Cottage Cook Club tutor Ailsa has prepared some great recipes from store cupboard ingredients to encourage us to keep home cooking and keep eating right. Over to Ailsa…

Part 2/2: ‘Sensing and Presencing the Imperceptible’, Siân Bowen’s Micro-conference

Alessandra Leruste has been a Volunteer gallery assistant with Inverleith House since 2019. Alessandra has an MA in History of art from the University of Edinburgh and has her own art-writing blog. Here, Alessandra shares her experience from the afternoon of Siân Bowen’s micro-conference at RBGE.

Spread hope and joy with #plantrainbow

The rainbow symbol is used to represent peace, hope, joy, inclusion and diversity. During the current public health crisis, created by the Covid-19 virus, it has also come…

Emerging buds and size 10’s

The soil is warming and herbaceous plantings are moving. The buds are thrusting up through the soil, established clumps of Hosta are hedgehog like with the multitude of…

Part 1/2: ‘Sensing and Presencing the Imperceptible’, Siân Bowen’s Micro-conference

Klaudia Jaworska is in her third year at Edinburgh Napier University, studying International Festivals and Events Management and Marketing. As part of her course, she is currently carrying out a work placement in RBGE’s Public Engagement Department. Here, Klaudia shares her experience from the morning of Siân Bowen’s micro-conference at RBGE.

Magnolia sargentiana

Tucked away in the upper woodland garden and easily missed is Magnolia sargentiana. Not as prolific a flowerer as Magnolia ‘Charles Raffill’, the flowers it does produce are…

Learning on the job: students make valuable scientific discoveries

“Hey Zoë, we’ve found a Pinguicula!” “I doubt it, they don’t grow in Belize.” “Well, this is definitely a Pinguicula.” With that conversation shouted across a hillside, we…

February 2020 Garden Wildlife Report

February 2020 will be remembered both locally and nationally for its exceptionally high rainfall, for the frequency of stormy weather, and for its lack of sunshine. There were…

Plant an evergreen

Mid-March and the worst of the winter weather should be behind us. Now is an ideal time to plant an evergreen as the desiccating cold winds that are…

Snowdrop division

Have you been impressed with the carpets of Snowdrops seen in gardens open for the Scottish Snowdrop Festival? As the flowers fade, now is the time to lift…

Looking at After Hortus Malabaricus

As a Gallery Volunteer it has been my privilege to spend a good number of hours looking at the diverse range of objects in the artist Siân Bowen’s…

Hot, steep and spiny – Exploring the forgotten forests of Latin America

Working in the dry forests of the Marañón valley in Peru can be pretty intense. Firstly, as you might expect, it can get exceptionally hot. While clouds might…

Climate Emergency: Tropical Forests Approach Tipping Point

RBGE scientists contribute to a landmark study suggesting that increasing global temperatures may cause both Amazon and African rainforests to become net sources, rather than sinks, of carbon…

A woodland carpet

Symphytum grandiflorum is to be found as an extensive patch of vegetation covering soil in the upper woodland garden. Neat and compact with an inflorescence of creamy white…

Sibbaldia No. 18 A Plant Health Special

Plants sustain nearly all life on Earth: protecting plants is thus protecting life itself. 2020 has been designated the International Year of Plant Health, and as part of…

January 2020 Garden Wildlife Report

January 2020 was a dull and rather wet month at RBGE. There were only 46.5 hours of sunshine, about twelve hours less than in December 2019, with the…

Siân Bowen’s Leverhulme Research Fellowship Exhibition: After Hortus Malabaricus: Sensing and Presencing Rare Plants

After Hortus Malabaricus: Sensing and Presencing Rare Plants marks the culmination of my four-year collaboration with the Herbarium at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE). Having held my first solo exhibition in Scotland at Inverleith House at RBGE in 1995, it is wonderful to be able to exhibit here once again. In 2017, I was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship to carry out the project. The Leverhulme Trust is known for supporting experimental proposals with an emphasis on outward facing journeys. The journey that the award facilitated has certainly been extraordinary – opening up possibilities to work with botanists, ecologists, historical researchers, cultural geographers, taxonomists and curators. It has allowed encounters with rare plants in darkened herbaria and light-filled South Indian forests and swamps; epistemologies used to ‘reveal’ specimens and sensory differences between plants’ live and preserved states.