A lot can happen in a year, especially where the Edinburgh Biomes Project is concerned. Looking back at 2022, it is impossible to include everything that has been achieved, but here is a selection of highlights of the work undertaken by the Horticulture team and colleagues.

Palm House with sun streaming through the glazing
We started the year with the Victorian Palm Houses empty of all plants, in preparation for renovations to begin.
(photo: Sadie Barber, January 2022)
Person with pallet truck pushes a pallet of stone slabs inside a Victorian glasshouse
One of the last tasks for the Horticulture and Estates team inside the Palm House was to remove all of the sandstone kerbs that had formed the planting beds.
Pictured left to right: Kevin Bannon, Ian Ross, Kevin Banks (photo: Sadie Barber, January 2022)
A large painting of a palm frond, in front of 3 female artists
The empty Palm House was the perfect location for (L-R) botanical artists Sarah Roberts, Işik Gűner and Jacqui Pestell to paint their triptych of Sabal mexicana, which had been housed in the Tropical Palm House for 130 years.
(photo: Sadie Barber, June 2022)
3 people are laying stone slabs inside a glasshouse
The Horticulture team create additional space for change in the Temperate Lands glasshouse, to make room for large ferns soon to be decanted from the Ferns & Fossils glasshouse.
Pictured left to right: Kevin Bannon, David Tricker, Marc Gilbert (photo: Fiona Inches, March 2022)
two people work with a ladder inside a glasshouse to remove plants from a central tree-like sturcture
The Biomes ‘decant’ involves more than moving living plants. Here, two of the team are making a start on the dismantling of a huge replica buttress tree made out of concrete, wire mesh and hessian.
Pictured left to right: Thomas Shriver, Paula Maciejewska-Daruk. (photo: Sadie Barber, January 2022)
plastic balls surround branches of a plant - one is pulled open to show roots that have formed inside the ball
Propagating plants helps to downsize large plants that cannot be moved. Layering pods are used for shrubs and trees that do not take easily from cuttings. The pods, stuffed with moss, fit around a branch which has been wounded. From this wound, roots should emerge.
(photo: Sadie Barber, March 2022)
a pair of hands is shown holding small pieces of leaf and a fine mesh bag
Data capture is a way to ensure that information from plants is not lost, even if the plant itself leaves the collection during the Biomes Project. Here, small pieces of leaf are collected for later extracting DNA.
(photo: Sadie Barber, May 2022)
2 people dig around the base of a tree fern inside a glasshouse
The task of emptying the Ferns & Fossils glasshouse begins with hand-digging. Later, with these ferns removed, access will be created to allow for machinery to help with the task.
Pictured left to right: Kate Miller, Neil Watherston (photo Kevin Bannon, May 2022)
a digger with its driver work inside a glasshouse
A micro-digger helps to make lighter work for the team inside the Ferns & Fossils glasshouse. The ground is being levelled, and rockwork is dismantled.
Pictured left to right: Szymon Drozdek, Kate Miller, Hazel France, Neil Watherston (photo: Kevin Bannon, September 2022)
The Horticulture team at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh remove a 150 year old Dicksonia antartica tree fern
With the help of an electric powered telehandler, the team remove a 150-year-old Dicksonia antarctica from the Ferns & Fossils glasshouse, for later replanting at RBGE’s Logan Botanic Garden.
Pictured left to right: Sadie Barber, Kevin Bannon (photo: Lynsey Wilson, September 2022)
3 people move a Dicksonia antartica tree fern on a trolley
A Dicksonia antarctica tree fern is pulled down the construction road, ready for its journey to Logan Botanic Garden.
Pictured left to right: Kevin Bannon, Neil Watherston, Becca Drew, Kate Miller (photo: Suzie Huggins, September 2022)
a crowd of people stand around a freshly planted tree fern
One of the 150-year-old Dicksonia antarctica tree ferns is freshly planted by a team of horticulturists after arriving at Logan Botanic Garden, where the climate will allow it to grow outdoors.
(photo: Suzie Huggins, September 2022)
a gardener adds some soil to a large potted tree fern inside a glasshouse
Many of the transplanted tree ferns were relocated to the Temperate Lands glasshouse, where they will be kept in pots for a couple of years.
Pictured: Hazel France (photo: Kevin Bannon, September 2022)
2 people are in a glasshouse, taking stock of potted plants
A vital part of the Biomes decant process is the rationalising and careful curation of collections. Here, Glasshouse Supervisor Louise Galloway (left) and Horticulturist Steve Willis (right) sort through the records and the plants of the Ericaceae conservation collection.
(photo: Kevin Bannon, August 2022)
2 people, wearing waders, clearing plants from a pond in a glasshouse
Pat Clifford (left) and Kevin Bannon (right) clear away overgrown vegetation from the Plants & People glasshouse’s tropical pond, ahead of the relocation of the fish.
(photo: Hazel France, August 2022)
Horticulturist Bruce Robertson holds the Campbell-Stokes sunshine recorder crystal ball
Senior Horticulturist Bruce Robertson removes the Campbell-Stokes sunshine recorder from its cradle after taking one last reading before the Temperate Palm House is restored. The sunshine recorder will return to this spot following the restoration.
(photo: Sadie Barber, September 2022)
an arborist stands a few metres up in a tree on a sunny day, with glasshouses in the background
Work begins on the transplanting of the Chilean Terrace, which is located in a micro-climate area behind the Front Range Glasshouses. Here, Will Hinchliffe climbs a Maytenus boaria tree in order to carefully dismantle it.
(photo: Sadie Barber, September 2022)
A person in a hi-vis vest stands next to a shrub that is being lifted with a tractor
A tractor and its planting plate help with the lifting of larger shrubs in the Chilean Terrace.
Pictured left to right: Paul Hughes, Peter Wilson (photo: Roween Suess, November 2022)
Legrandia concinnna 15
Horticulturist Paul Hughes slowly transports a Legrandia concinna to its newly prepared bed in the Garden. This Chilean plant is a threatened species, and is extremely rare in cultivation.
(photo: Rachel Robinson, November 2022)
3 people surround a pruned shrub being lowered into a planting hole
The Arboriculture team take care of a transplanted shrub that has been moved from the Chilean Terrace. The shrub has been pruned in the winter and should flush into growth in the spring.
Picture left to right: Keith Glass, Robyn Macdonald, Becca Drew (photo: Roween Suess, November 2022)
A group of 5 people stand on muddy ground in the rain, all of them smiling
The Arboriculture team are happy with the work they’ve achieved in transplanting many rare and unique species from the Chilean Terrace. They worked in all weathers and kept smiling throughout!
Pictured left to right: Becca Drew, Roween Suess, Robyn Macdonald, Rachel Robinson, Sarah Earney (photo: Kate Miller, December 2022)
3 people stand in a glasshouse, celebrating with arms raised
A cause for celebration as the team successfully completes the tiresome task of building hundreds of metres of horticultural benching for the potted collections that have since been moved to the Nursery Glasshouses.
Pictured left to right: Thomas Shriver, Hazel France, Lucie Oldale (photo: Kevin Bannon, March 2022)
a black cat lays on a paved area, yawning
Marley, who has made The Botanics his home and is always around to watch the Biomes decant activities, takes a well-earned rest after a long day.
(photo: Kevin Bannon, October 2022)

You can read more about these stories here:

Palm House Propagation by Lucie Oldale

Data Capture by Sadie Barber

Fern House Decant Begins by Hazel France

Space for Change by Kevin Bannon

Moving the Outdoor Plants by Roween Suess

A Change in the Weather by Sadie Barber

Moving the Ericaceae Collection by Kevin Bannon

Threatened Chilean Plants on the Move by Will Hinchliffe