Edinburgh Botanics

Mar 292017
Volunteering at the Botanics - bryophytes in our living landscape

There are very few bryophytes growing in the living collections of the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh. What I mean by this is that there are very few bryophytes that we have carefully selected as wild plants, and have planted and nurtured as part of our curated collection, databased and in possession of accession numbers. On […]

Mar 232017
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 following a rainstorm. Flowers are a pink bud opening pink and fading to white. The tubular corolla opens out to spread petals and stamens of uneven length. […]

Mar 212017
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 Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region of Tajikistan. A white flowered species with delicate black pencil like lines and a yellow stripe on the falls.  By way of contrast, Iris […]

Mar 142017
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 plant, towering six meters with a mass of blooms covering its evergreen canopy. The flower trusses open from a light pink to a delicate pink/white. The inner […]

Mar 072017
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 growing in many gardens throughout the country. Flower colour is variable from white through pink to purple. This variability is also seen in the foliage, which colours […]

Mar 012017
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 ones. These are the plants that whatever the seasonal weather, will flower, produce fruit or give exceptional foliage interest. These are the ten to fill your garden […]

Feb 222017
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 be seen the development of the flower bud and growth leading to a succession of the plants flowering. The flower spike holds a selection of flowers in […]

Feb 142017
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 aspect and will naturalise through borders. Just look along the alpine wall later in the year, it is full of M. azureum naturalised in this free draining […]

Feb 092017
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 to the Viburnum bodnantense cultivars. The attached image shows the rapid browning and discolouration that occurs to the open flowers when direct sun expands the frozen ice […]

Feb 092017
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 collected on Hokkaido Island, Japan. A hardy species that is one of the first of the genera to flower, it does rely on a frost free winter […]