Mr Tracks and I recently had a lovely jaunt to Edinburgh’s beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens. We usually spend our time walking round the grounds, but on this occasion, we had two main missions: to catch up with what was going on in the glasshouses; and to visit a special orchid fair.
I love the stunning, colourful and structural plants in the glasshouses, where there are a range of different ‘rooms’ to cater for plants which like different temperatures and climates:
I also love the other-worldly sense of the place:
And here are some of those magnificent orchids:
As you can see, the main display was designed as if the flowers were waterfalls, streams and rivers, with little boats sailing on them. Gorgeous!
And last, but by no means least, something for my dear friend, Gallivanta – a Wollemi Pine:
These plants are very special indeed. The Wollemi Pine belongs to the 200 million year old Araucariaceae family and was only known through fossil records until the Australian species Wollemia nobilis was discovered in 1994 in a temperate rainforest wilderness area of the Wollemi National Park in New South Wales, in a remote series of narrow, steep-sided sandstone gorge 150 kilometres north-west of Sydney. See Wiki for further details, but it is a fabulous story of botanical regeneration.
What a great day out – finished off by a rather nice lunch, I should add. When we first moved up to Edinburgh around four years ago now, the John Hope Gateway, which houses the RGB’s lovely restaurant, had only just opened. So diners looked out onto some rather sparse and new planting in the foreground, with the backdrop of the rest of the gardens demonstrating what was to emerge in years to come. Now, here we were, with time having passed by – the landscaping is all filled out, well-established and beautiful. Still a while to go to match the original Wollemi’s 200 million mark, but everyone has to start somewhere. The talented RBG folk have given their new outdoor plants a wonderfully cracking chance, while those under the glasshouses were equally carefully tended – some of them were extremely old.
I wouldn’t mind moving in there myself at some point in the future (although I would have to come to some accommodation with Mr Tracks because he hates the heat and his camera kept steaming up!). 🙂