Behind the scenes - Elspeth Haston and Lorna Mitchell looking at potential items to include in the Botanical Treasures publicationI’m getting excited gearing up for our Book Week Scotland events that kick off in less than two weeks. Some visitors may not realise that we have a library that is Scotland’s national reference collection for specialist botanical and horticultural resources, and that we are also a publisher. So, the event we have to kick things off is most appropriate as it will give the audience a chance to see behind the scenes in our library, archive and herbarium, and meet some of the authors and staff who contributed to our recent publication Botanical Treasures, which highlights some of the fascinating and diverse gems we have in our collection.

John WrightBut our events aren’t just focussing on what’s indoors. Have you ever wondered where the name of a plant or an animal comes from? We are delighted that author John Wright is joining us and will be leading walks to look at some of the species in the Garden, exploring the people and the stories behind the names we use to organise and make sense of nature. Some of us may find scientific names baffling from time-to-time (I know I do; I’m no scientist!) but if you delve a little deeper, as John has in his new book The Naming of the Shrew, there you will find some incredibly creative and humourous examples.

Creativity inspired by nature is the subject of our artist book sessions, that we have worked in partneship with the Scottish Poetry Library to host. Jean Johnston will be leading a hands-on session in which participants can handle her precious handmade books, each containing a single poem and made from natural materials. I’m really looking forward to this opportunity to handle precious works of art, and I got even more excited about it when I read this account about Jean sharing her work with the Special Collection team at the University of St Andrews. Make sure you get your ticket booked, as there are limited places available for this!

You can find full listings for our Boook Week Scotland events here.