Root Admin

May 162016

Chaffinch Male for Botanics StoriesOn the 5th April the Garden offered a special Spring Bird and Garden Walk.  Tamar Duncan, Visitor Welcome Team, Pamela and Cathy our expert Garden Guides led the walk which lasted around 90 minutes.  We went to the hotspots for bird sighting and we were lucky enough to spot over 20 birds including 3 buzzards!

One of the participants gave us the feedback:

“Great fun.  A lovely way to meet the Garden.  Accompanied by 3 experts who were lovely and very informative about the wide range of aspects of the Garden.  Everybody really the useful tips on birds and plants”.

We are hoping to offer more of these types of walks in the future, so keep looking and bird hunting!

Jun 262015


It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for! Our Amorphophallus titanum (titan arum), one of the world’s biggest and smelliest blooms, is now in full flower. It’s a first for the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and for Scotland.

It is only expected to flower – and smell – for a couple of days, so hurry along to the Garden if you want to experience the botanical spectacle. See how our plant compares to a titan arum in bloom at Basel, pictured above.

To give everyone a chance to see the plant, the Glasshouses will be open from 9am until 9pm during the period it is in full flower.

Visiting Times

9am – Access to Glasshouses only (enter via East Gate, Inverleith Row).

10am – Garden fully open. Entry via East Gate and John Hope Gateway, West Gate.

5.45pm – Last entry to Garden

6pm – Garden closes

6pm – 8.15pm – Entry to Glasshouses only (enter via East Gate)

8.30pm – Last admission to Glasshouses

9pm – Glasshouses close

Glasshouse admission costs £5, £4 concessions, children 15 and under free. No advance booking. Friends of RBGE get free entry to the Glasshouses and our Regional Gardens at Dawyck, Benmore and Logan. Why not sign up to become a Friend today?

Jun 182015

Johan Serge Jakobson (documentary filmmaker) talks about making the film:

A big old Castanea sativa (Sweet Chestnut) has stood on the pond lawn in RBGE’s Edinburgh garden for more than 200 years. Over the last few years the tree has been in decline and the Arboretum team have carried out work to try and keep this tree for another generation.

Last winter arborists Paul Mullany and Chris Coatham reduced the crown, cutting back the larger failing branches to encourage new shoots to grow; they invited me along to film this.

In these short videos Martyn Dickson (RBGE Garden Manager, Arboretum) explains the reduction work and the biodiversity value of old trees such as this in RBGE’s collection.

For me, filming in Edinburgh’s botanic garden in December meant a chance to see the structure, texture and character of the trees here in a faded winter light. Also an opportunity to try to document this beautiful old tree, which I see as a sentinel of time, imagining the changes over the years imprinted within it.

Watching the Arboretum team work long days through wind and rain also gave me some insight into the skill, fortitude and care that goes into maintaining the living collection, and a deep appreciation for those who do this work.

Why are old trees important for biodiversity?

Watch another film by Johan on how this tree and others like it support a wide range of other organisms.

More data on 19687259

The plants in our gardens form part of a scientific research collection and each is given a number when it is acquired. As mentioned in the film the featured Castanea sativa is over two hundred years old and was here before the Royal Botanic Garden moved to Inverleith or we were inclined to give things numbers so it was issued a number when our management system was established in 1968. The tree was included as ‘C’ with four other Sweet Chestnuts in accession 19687259. The factsheet below lists all the trees in the accession. Where they are located and some of the pictures we have of them. It doesn’t give a location for tree ‘B’ because this one has unfortunately died.

RBGE Living Collections Accession Factsheet
Accession Number:19687259
Scientific Name:Castanea sativa Mill.
Location:/Living Collections/Inverleith/K01/Y065
Location:/Living Collections/Unplaced
Location:/Living Collections/Inverleith/C02/ZH030
Location:/Living Collections/Inverleith/R71
1968.7259C (2).JPG
1968.7259C (3).JPG
1968.7259C (4).JPG
DSC_8899 (2).jpg
DSC_8901 (2).jpg
DSC_8902 (2).jpg
DSC_8905 (2).jpg
1968.7259D (2).JPG
1968.7259D (3).JPG
 Location: 55.965483256,-3.206997422
 Location: 55.965243462,-3.208004029
 Location: 55.966259744,-3.211194557
 Location: 55.964210033,-3.206023283